Five teenagers have been arrested after a massive brawl involving machetes at a Birmingham Star City cinema in England. On Saturday afternoon, many families were queueing up for the new animated sequel Frozen 2 with children in attendance as young as four years old. This is when a "major disorder" broke out involving up to 100 teenagers, with some even brandishing machetes, turning the Disney movie screening into an abhorrent nightmare for everyone in the building.
Because at least two of the teens were armed with machetes, police immediately responded with dozens of armed officers who found "pockets of fighting" on the scene. When the police arrived, they were met with a "very hostile response," leaving many officers with minor facial injuries. To take control of the situation, the officers deployed the use of tasers and police dogs, seizing two machetes and another knife hidden nearby. When the scuffle was over, five teenagers had been arrested, ranging in age from 13 to 19. Four were held on suspicion of assaulting police officers while the fourth, a 14-year-old boy, was arrested for obstructing police.
"There was a fight in the cinema... group of girls on one girl and it all escalated," one eyewitness wrote on Twitter, adding it was "so sad" the incident had to happen with so many small children there to see it. Another cinema patron described seeing a young boy "crying on the floor with his mother" when the brawl broke out, but fortunately, no children are reported to have been physically harmed in the terrifying melee. "We understand that families with young children will have been left upset by what they saw last night, but we urge people to appreciate that our aim last night was to protect the public and restore order, and that's what we achieved," Supt Ian Green said of the incident in a statement.
The motive behind the machete fight is believed to be gang-related. It should also be noted that the brawl happened on the same day the BBC-backed gang movie Blue Story was released. Because of this and other "significant incidents" at 16 different cinemas on the same day, Vue has pulled the BBC-backed movie Blue Story in the interest of public safety. "While we are disappointed that these are the actions we have had to take, we hope it is understandable that we cannot, and will not, take any risks with regard to the welfare and safety of our staff and our customers," the company said.
As horrific as this situation must have been for everyone present, it's certainly great that no serious injuries were reported, as things could have gone down much worse. Investigators are still working on identifying more of the suspects involved in the brawl, and are encouraging anyone with footage or photos of the disorder to contact them. Anyone with any information can contact the Birmingham police online, and those in the area can also 101 or the anonymous Crimestoppers hotline at 0800 555 111. This news comes to us from Daily Mirror.