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
Boy must the zoo keepers’ faces be red. I first heard about this story on my favoritest radio show TBTLon 97.3 KIRO FM in Seattle, WA (an amazing podcast, if you have never heard it). The great prairie dog escape from the Maryland Zoo’s new, top of the line, prairie dog exhibit definitely qualifies as a cute animal story. How embarrassing to find out that a prairie dog is smarter than you are.
Prairie dogs return to Md. Zoo
Keepers scramble as animals try to escape
By Jacques Kelly
Baltimore Sun reporter
June 12, 2009
It took just 10 minutes for a dozen prairie dogs to outwit the creators of the Maryland Zoo’s new $500,000 habitat.
Aircraft wire, poured concrete and slick plastic walls proved no match for the fast-footed rodents, the stars of a new exhibit that opens today.
As officials were promoting the return of the zoo’s 28 prairie dogs – their former digs had been out of sight in a closed section of the animal preserve for more than four years – some of the critters found ways to jump, climb and get over the walls of their prairie paradise, a centerpiece exhibit just inside the zoo’s main entrance.
None got away, but for a few anxious minutes, they found every weakness in the enclosure built to hold them. Zookeepers had to bring out nets to catch escapees.
When the animals were let out of their crates into their new habitat Wednesday, not all sought to escape. More than a few seemed happy to take a noontime siesta. Others were more interested in a lunch of biscuits, kale, apples, carrots, alfalfa hay and mulberry leaves.
But a few intrepid prairie dogs tried to find their way out, sending keepers scrambling to plug escape routes.
An hour later, just as zookeepers thought everything was under control, one rodent made it to the top of the wall. A dozen workers closed in. The prairie dog seemed to think better of it and jumped back into the enclosure.
“They find all the weak spots and exploit them,” said Karl Kranz, the zoo’s vice president for animal programs and chief operating officer. “But they are so fun to watch as they play, squabble, groom and bark with others in their colony.”
The new Prairie Dog Town took several months to build on the site of what had been the Kodiak bear exhibit. With its waist-high glass walls, the habitat permits children and prairie dog to get to know each other face to face. Zoo officials said prairie dogs have been one of their most popular and requested attractions.
Keepers released the animals Wednesday so they could begin digging their burrows in the 80 truckloads of sand and clay soil. Within hours, the prairie dogs had made at least one sleeping burrow under a tree limb.
“It’s like they were dropped off cold in the middle of the desert,” Kranz said, adding that after 24 hours they “had gotten very serious about digging their burrows.”
Zoo staff members say the animals cannot burrow their way out because the former Kodiak bear environment is essentially a large concrete swimming bowl. The soil depth at Prairie Dog Town ranges from 6 feet to 8 feet.
“The dirt must be deeper than 36 inches in order for the prairie dogs to make their burrows under the frost line,” Kranz said. “We took soil samples from the old exhibit so the soils could be matched exactly to what they were used to having.”
After foiling the escape attempt, zoo workers adjusted wire fencing and installed more slippery plastic on the walls.
“It worked perfectly,” said staff member Rebecca Gullott.
Prairie dogs are Midwestern natives that live in colonies and speak to one another in little barks that warn of approaching predators.
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is offering $5 off the first 3,500 admissions at the main gate to celebrate the opening of Prairie Dog Town.
The habitat was paid for through a Baltimore bond issue and state funds, as well as grants from the Bank of America, the Venable law firm and private donors Andrew and Joyce Walter.
See the complete prairie dog move in and escape photo gallery at The Baltimore Sun – Prairie Dog Photo Gallery.
Thank You For Your Consideration,
The Graham Ten
After putting up the last post I thought I remembered hearing a story about an actual assault with a fish. On a whim I looked it up. Here it is.
Assault with fish lands man in jail
June 3, 2008 12:15 am
BY KEITH EPPS
A series of incidents involving a fish and his own private parts landed a Fredericksburg man in jail Sunday, police said.
City police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said the suspect’s troubles started Saturday about 8:30 a.m. at the 7-Eleven on Dixon Street.
Three people were at the gas pumps when the suspect entered the store. The witnesses said they noticed the suspect because he was singing very loudly.
A 40-year-old man was looking at the suspect when he came out of the store still being loud. This caught the attention of the suspect, who picked up a rock and hit the man in the neck.
Bledsoe said the man’s 32-year-old friend then got out of the car and confronted the suspect about throwing the rock. The suspect grabbed a fish out of his car and hit the friend in the face with it.
The suspect threw a beer bottle onto the vehicle at the gas pump, which belonged to the fish victim’s girlfriend. Witnesses said he dropped his pants and flashed his private parts to all three.
The suspect, who the victims said they didn’t know, drove off before police arrived. But Bledsoe said police got a photo from the store’s security camera and took it around the neighborhood.
Residents identified the suspect as 21-year-old Marcellus Coleman. On Sunday, police got a tip that Coleman was in an abandoned house on Myrick Street.
Police found him there and took him into custody. Bledsoe said that as Coleman was being led to the police cruiser, he spit on a resident who he apparently believed informed police of his whereabouts. The spitting led to an assault charge.
Coleman was also charged with malicious wounding, destruction of property and indecent exposure. He was placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail under no bond.
Wow, this story has it all: fish assault, rock throwing, private parts being indecently exposed, and spitting. What more could you ask for?
Thank You For Your Consideration,
The Graham 10