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Parents, businesses caught in middle of movie theater brawl

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Updated: 12/26/2013 6:21 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Boston’s owner Nimesh Patel loves living and working in North Jacksonville, but when he saw a large group of teenagers running from the movie theater Christmas night, he took action.

“So we locked our doors, secured it. Anybody could leave if they wanted to leave but nobody could come in until we figured out what
was going on,” Patel said.

Patel says his customers were safe and that he saw JSO secure the scene quickly as hundreds of teens ran into the parking lot.

But a local parent Action News spoke to had a different story.

Danny McMillin says he was trying to pick up his daughters and that the scene was chaotic.

“Everywhere I drove to try and pick up my daughter and stuff like this, they were talking about 'If you don't move they going to take you to jail,' and then my daughter walked over to Red Lobster and they told her if she moves again that they were going to take her to jail,” said McMillin.

JSO said officers established safe zones for parents to show identification and pick up their kids.

McMillin said the plan wasn’t that clear.

I mean, they're going to tell a parent to move and go somewhere else and wherever you went to it still wasn't safe.  It just wasn't safe,” said McMillin.

Patel believes the area is safe, and although this isn’t the first time he’s experienced a Christmas Day incident at the mall, he plans to be open on Christmas 2014, with one request for JSO.

“I think just having a better presence would hopefully eliminate that next year."

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

aclchampion - 12/27/2013 12:37 PM
1 Vote
When this whole thing started, anyone with half a brain should have been able to figure out that the last place they want to be is right there. I doubt any of the cops beamed down from the starship Enterprise as soon as the backup call went out so those innocent children had plenty of time, probably 4 to 5 minutes, to get the heck away from the scene. If you decided to just hang around then you were guilty by association and deserved the treatment you got. Where are the good old days of "cheese it, the cops!"

biblelady2 - 12/26/2013 10:08 PM
3 Votes
The JSO did exactly what they were supposed to do! I applaud them, and all the complainers should stop, and think about what COULD have happened, if JSO had NOT stepped in, and quickly secured the scene. Teens are a VOLATILE bunch, and the officers did a good job. Support them, stop complaining and criticizing them. I'm sick of hearing people whine about JSO.
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