Teens Arrested After Flash Mobs Attack Officer, Residents and Employees in Center City

Police say there were reports of three assaults and one robbery in all.

What to Know

  • Two teens were arrested in connection to flash mob attacks in Center City.
  • Police say there were three assaults and one robbery in all.
  • A SEPTA Police officer, two employees of a Center City pizza shop, and a couple walking down the street were among the victims.

At least two teens were arrested while several people, including a SEPTA police officer, were attacked during flash mob incidents in Center City.

Police say the ordeal began Saturday around 7 p.m. on the 1700 block of Walnut Street when two large groups of teens became disorderly. One group exited a club and attacked a couple walking down the street, according to investigators. Officials also say a second group of approximately 100 teens were acting rowdy and harassed people walking nearby.

Samir Maalaoui, the owner of Lazaro’s Pizza, located on the 1700 block of South Street, also told NBC10 a group of teens rushed into his shop shortly before 8 p.m., attacked two of his delivery drivers and stole a pizza. 

"He was on the floor and they start kicking him," Maalaoui said.

One of the drivers suffered a broken nose while another suffered a black eye.

"Punching him in the face four, five times," said a witness who wanted to remain anonymous. "It was ridiculous man. This never happened here before."

Both employees are expected to be okay. The owner sent NBC10 surveillance video of the teens outside his shop as well as photos of his injured employees.

"He needs stitiches and his nose is broken completely," Maalaoui said. "And he needs surgery."

Cleavers Philadelphia, located on the 100 block of S. 18th Street, also closed early Saturday night, claiming there were “riots going on in Rittenhouse.”

Philadelphia Police and SEPTA Police arrived at the scene and began to disperse the crowds. As they were controlling the crowd, at least one SEPTA police officer was attacked, officials said. Police say there were reports of three assaults and one robbery in all. 

SEPTA Police arrested two teens, ages 14 and 16, in connection to the attacks in Rittenhouse Square. They have not yet revealed the specific charges against them.

Staff at Lazaro's say they hope the people who put their co-workers in the hospital are punished.

"Every time they get away with it, they're going to keep doing the same thing," Maalaoui said. "Maybe they're going to take it further. It's not good for the business. It's not good for the city."

If you have any information on the incidents, please call Philadelphia Police.

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