A History Of Chuck E. Cheese Violence
I can’t say this topic is my original idea. My favorite imaginary radio show (A.K.A Podcast), TBTL, has been documenting violence at the kids pizza place for quite a while. After the latest incident, I decided I needed to know more. Here is what I found. In no way should this be considered an exhaustive list of Chuck E. Cheese related brawls.
#1 – Topeka, Kansas – January 17, 2005
Around 5:30 p.m., two adult females were involved in an altercation prior to police arrival. It was reported that one small child was either bumped or struck by another child. The mothers of the girls began to argue and an altercation ensued. No one was charged.
#2 – Brooklyn, New York – June 20, 2005
At about 8:30 p.m., A fight between two children at the Chuck E. Cheese in the Atlantic Terminal Mall in Brooklyn turned into a bloody brawl between parents. It all started when two girls began to argue at the theme restaurant. A girl kicked the other child, which got their moms into a heated argument of their own. Then, the fathers of the two girls started to argue. One of the dads was joined by two of his friends in jumping the other father.
#3 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin – August 11, 2006
An elderly female threw a shoe at man, according to police reports. He stated the fight started over someone calling his child “ugly.” He stated he was not injured, his pride was just hurt.
#4 – Toledo, Ohio – February 4, 2007
Several parents complained about children who were having their picture drawn at one of the machines and then continued to sit there after the drawings were complete. The parents began calling names and then throwing punches. Several people were injured and several cited for disorderly conduct.
#5 – Matteson, Illinois – 2007-2008
Police responded to at least 12 disturbance calls at the Matteson, Illinois Chuck E. Cheese between 2007-2008. The disturbances ranged in seriousness and included one in which two men attacked another man at a birthday party.
#6 – Flint, Michigan – January 26, 2008
Flint Township police responded to a call about a large fight at Chuck E. Cheese’s that involved as many as 85 people. A fight inside the restaurant between three females erupted, pepper gas was sprayed and people flooded outside the restaurant into the back parking lot.
#7 – Brookfield, Wisconsin – April 2008
In Brookfield, Wis., no restaurant has triggered more calls to the police department than Chuck E. Cheese’s. Officers have been called to break up 12 fights, some of them physical, at the child-oriented pizza parlor between April 2007 and April 2008. The biggest melee broke out when an uninvited adult disrupted a child’s birthday party. Seven officers arrived and found as many as 40 people knocking over chairs and yelling in front of the restaurant’s music stage.
#8 – Framington, Massachusetts – May 3, 2008
Two Boston-area moms got into a fistfight at Chuck E. Cheese when one woman’s son “hogged” an arcade game from the other’s 9-year-old birthday boy. Catherine Aliaga, 38, and Tarsha Williams, 33, were charged with simple assault and battery after the shouting and scuffling match at a celebration for Aliaga’s son’s birthday.
#9 – Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – November 9, 2008
The assault occurred after a woman in her 30s approached a 6-year-old boy who was playing a videogame. When the boy went to insert more tokens to continue playing, the woman grabbed the tokens out of his hand and told him to stop hogging the game. The boy went and got his 26-year-old mother, who walked over to the woman. The woman began screaming at the boy’s mother, and another suspect, a man in his 30s, grabbed the mother by the throat and pushed her against the videogame machine. CEC employees had to pull the man off the mother. Both the man and the woman fled the scene. The police department gets called to respond to disputes at the restaurant as many as 15 times a year.
#10 – Pennsylvania – January 7, 2009
Five women and a minor were arrested after they were involved in a fight. It’s not the first time police were called to the restaurant.
#11 – Pennsylvania – March 18, 2009
Two Pennsylvania women were arrested at a Chuck E. Cheese for assaulting a man with their refillable sodas and their fists.
#12 – South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – April 12, 2009
Around 7:00 p.m., a fight between adults broke out. A child was caught in the middle of the fight and was transported to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The restaurant was extremely crowded. A woman threw a salt and pepper shaker at another woman and that woman threw a chair back at her, resulting in the fight.
#13 – Michigan – November 23, 2009
At 8:53 p.m., a fight broke out among three teenage girls at the pizza parlor. A Genesee County Sheriff’s paramedic and state troopers quickly got the fight under control, and canceled other officers headed that way to back them up. But a few minutes later, the officers sent out a second call as the fight erupted again, and quickly turned into “a knock-down, drag-out between 75 and 80 people.” Police from around the county poured into the restaurant shortly after 9 p.m. trying to control the crowd. Pepper spray used to control the crowd may have added to the uproar.
#14 – Arlington Heights, Illinois – November 2009
A family was apparently celebrating the birthday of a young man in his early teens when other members of the family showed up, and an argument began. There was a pushing match and things were thrown. One person was taken to the hospital with a cut below an eye and another person went to a clinic for a cut on a hand. Some of the participants had been drinking.
#15 – Columbus, Ohio – November 24, 2009
A father of a 1 year-old interrupted the child’s birthday festivities by pulling out a knife and starting a fight with around 20 other people. Parents frantically grabbed their kids and ran like hell to get out of the line of fire as the twenty or so people got into a terrible fight.
#16 – Hickory Hill, Tennessee: February 2010
A birthday party went horribly awry when a quarrel over the length of the photo booth line descended into chaotic violence. A girl complained that a group of people, there to celebrate a young boy’s birthday was hogging the booth. The boy’s mother’s stepfather then clocked the girl, giving her a black eye. It went further downhill from there. Multiple combatants from both families face charges.
Moral of this story – Pick another place to have your child’s birthday party. This is especially true if you live in Pennsylvania. The park is always a nice choice.
I must also give a great deal of credit to the Wall Street Journal that published a fascinating article on this topic on December 9, 2008. You can read it at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122878081364889613.html.
Thank You For Your Consideration,
The Graham Ten