Mayor Imposes Weekend Curfew as Flash Mobs Turn Ugly in Philadelphia
A disturbing scene played out night after night on the streets of Philadelphia. Gangs of teenagers, flash mobs, rampaged through the downtown streets, beating innocent bystanders, smashing cars, and looting stores.
"The next thing I knew I was in the middle of a human cyclone – there were like 20 to 40 people, young kids, all around me," said a man who was set upon by a group of teenagers. His face was left horribly bruised by the vicious assault.
"Somebody came back and sucker punched me or whatever, next thing I knew I woke up in an ambulance," he said.
A flash mob attack caught on surveillance camera shows an innocent pedestrian being savagely beaten. As the attackers ran off, it's clear they're just kids!
The violence is reminiscent of the shocking scenes from London last week, where mobs of youths unleashed a reign of terror.
And they have something in common: the flash mobs in both London and Philadelphia were organized and coordinated using social media like Facebook and Twitter.
The violence in Philadelphia has escalated in recent weeks and now authorities there have had enough.
"Stop acting like idiots and fools," said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. He has imposed a 9 p.m. weekend curfew for kids under 18 and put scores of extra cops out on the streets.
"People have tried to blame social media, for an example…social media is not the problem. The misuse of social media is the problem by a few individuals," says Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.
More than 60 teenagers were rounded up by the police this weekend for breaking curfew. One young man got a ticket for riding his skateboard on the sidewalk!
INSIDE EDITION joined a group of volunteers patrolling the downtown streets, led by Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison.
"We are all out and we have everybody pretty much working together," he said.
The volunteers got high-fives from sidewalk diners who were grateful for the crackdown and anxious to see an end to the disturbing bouts of mob violence.