EUCLID, Ohio — The city of Euclid has filed a nuisance complaint after they had to use pepper spray to quell a party they say turned violent involving hundreds of juveniles outside of a roller rink Wednesday night.
Officers responded to the Pla-More Skating Rink on Shore Drive around 9:30 p.m. for a large number of teenagers waiting outside to head into the rink.
There were so many people in attendance that eventually police and firefighters had to turn the crowd away since the rink was filled to capacity, Euclid police stated in a news release.
Authorities said the crowd became unruly and officers had to deploy pepper spray and pepper spray balls “in select instances to stop the violence and restore order.”
The event was eventually shut down by police as things continued to get out of hand. The incident lasted nearly two hours. Teens flooded the streets "causing panic and damage to local businesses," authorities said. Euclid police called in mutual from four additional law enforcement agencies to handle the crowd.
Three juveniles and one adult were arrested following the melee. The adult sustained an injury in fistfight—no other injuries were reported, police said.
“The safety of the residents, business owners, and visitors to our city is the primary responsibility of the Euclid Police Department. Given the severity of the incident and potential to quickly escalate out of control, immediate and reasonable steps were taken by police to protect people and property. These necessary measures pre- vented the already serious situation from becoming much worse. The EPD would like to thank the assisting agencies for helping to quell the disturbance,” the police department stated in the news releases.
According to the news release, this isn’t the first incident the city has filed against the roller rink.
“Pla-Mor did not comply with local ordinances requiring an event permit and the hiring of off-duty police officers for event security. This is not the only instance of trouble with Pla-Mor. Given the history of this business, the City has filed a nuisance complaint against the business in the Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas. It is our wish that this historic rink be managed in a lawful and safe manner so that skaters from around the area have a place to safely enjoy themselves,” Euclid police stated in the news release.
The rink's owner, Miguel Sanders, said he did hire two Euclid officers to work security, in addition to four private security guards, but that the officers didn't show up as planned. Instead, Sanders said on-duty Euclid police officers showed up around the time the event began and began to check on the rink's capacity.
“I’ve never seen anything like it and I am disappointed with Euclid police officers because I feel like I was set up for failure, because I followed the protocol that they asked me to do,” Sanders said. "I believe police incorrectly used pepper spray. There were kids running around, they're throwing up, they're getting sick and I’m grabbing kids and ushering them into our party room."
Some skate party goers, like 15-year-old Amani Gregory, maintain Euclid police were too heavy handed in how they dispersed the crowd, leaving them with impatient police officers as they waited for emergency rides home from the venue.
"Everybody was leaving anyway, everybody was just trying to wait for their rides," Gregory said. "But every time somebody tried to wait, they just tried to make us leave and we had nowhere else to go."