Pepper spray used to disperse crowd of up to 1,000 youths at Pinecrest in Orange Village, police say (video)

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 4:58 AM EDT
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ORANGE VILLAGE, Ohio (WOIO) - Officers used pepper balls and spray to disperse a large crowd Thursday night at Pinecrest Mall in Orange Village, according to a police report.

The Orange Village Police Department estimated a crowd of approximately 800 to 1,000 minors gathered at the outdoor shopping center for a free movie showing, promoted by the Cleveland Monsters hockey team at Pinecrest’s Central Park.

Pinecrest decided today to stop having family-friendly movie nights because of the incident.

Several area law enforcement agencies responded to assist in the chaotic situation, which according to police, is believed to have been “fueled virally by social media.”

Current view of Pinecrest as we are stuck in the movie theater waiting for the tear gas outside to settle.

Posted by Janine Stefanovsky Zampini on Thursday, June 17, 2021

Police said several fights broke out over the course of the evening, and seven minors were arrested. They were all eventually turned over, to a parent.

Despite rumors on social media, police said there were no shots fired by any of the attendees.

Orange Village police said no one sought medical attention and there were no reports of property damage.

Pinecrest released a statement to 19 News regarding the incident:

We are saddened by the inappropriate behavior of unsupervised minors at the family friendly movie last night. We appreciate the swift action of Orange Village and neighboring police departments in defusing the situation with no injuries and no property damage.

Pinecrest has hosted many successful events in the past, and Pinecrest personnel diligently planned and prepared for this event, consistent with all events, which includes contingency plans.

The safety of our guests is our main priority. Pinecrest has rules represented in the code of conduct that all visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian after 8 p.m. and visitors under the age of 21 are not permitted after 10 p.m. Security, led by the Orange Village Police, has a zero-tolerance policy to ensure the enjoyment of all who work, live, shop, and dine at Pinecrest.

Pinecrest will stop all movie nights and will reevaluate all outdoor programming while reemphasizing proactive efforts to support a safe, family friendly environment. Our focus will remain to provide a best-in-class experience to shop, dine, and enjoy Pinecrest.

Pinecrest is located on Park Avenue in Orange Village.

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