6 teens arrested in weekend melee at Mesa skating rink

January 6, 2020 GMT

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Six teenagers were arrested after several fights broke out at a crowded indoor skating rink in Mesa, authorities said.

Mesa police say they were called to Skateland Saturday night in response to a report of teens fighting.

Officers on the scene say they had to deal with fighting and other disruptive behavior amid a crowd of roughly 1,000. Hundreds of people fled as more police arrived. Yet, fights continued to erupt inside and outside.

Police say three officers suffered minor injuries while trying to contain the fighting. Some teens reportedly threw rocks at officers.

At one point, authorities closed down one street to ensure people were able to safely leave the area.

The six teens taken into custody who range in age from 13 to 17, were later released to a parent. There cases have been referred to juvenile court.

In a statement on its Facebook page Sunday, Skateland said the melee began when a customer became angry about not being allowed to go in and out of the building with her rental skates. According to the facility, she attempted to charge at an employee. The incident escalated with others in her group getting unruly.

The rink said it will now only rent skates to teens for its Saturday night sessions if a chaperone is present.