600 People Involved In Florida Movie Theatre Brawl On Christmas

Five people were arrested after a brawl erupted outside a Jacksonville, Fla. movie theatre on Christmas night, ABC News reports.

The incident, which police described as a “melee,” began around 8:30 p.m. when an off-duty officer was rushed by 25-30 people trying to get into the Regal River City Marketplace theatre without any tickets, according to News 4 Jax. The officer called for backup and used pepper spray to try to control the situation.

After the officer used pepper spray and locked the doors, “upward of 600 people moving throughout a parking lot about the size of a football field began fighting, disrupting and jumping on cars,” Lauri-Ellen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office told ABC News.

From News 4 Jax:

“Our response was quick and effective,” said Smith. “Our job is to keep people safe, first and foremost, obviously and that’s what our officers did. They do that through tactical activities through crowd control by sequestering the group and again, keeping these folks safe, determining who’s fighting, who’s not.”

Police say a total of five people were arrested on charges of fighting. Three of them are under 18, one is 18-years-old and the other is 19-years-old.

It took about 62 officers more than an hour to disperse the crowd, according to Florida Today. There was minor damage to vehicles, but no injuries or gunshots reported.

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