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April 06, 2023

Juvenile crowd causes disturbances in Center City, leaves police officer injured

Several citations were given out after hundreds of teens caused chaos Wednesday night as they moved along Market Street to City Hall

Investigations Teens
Center City teen crowd Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Hundreds of teenagers caused chaos in Center City on Wednesday night. Some people reportedly jumped on police cars.

Hundreds of teenagers wreaked havoc in Center City on Wednesday night as they moved from Old City to City Hall. Three teens reportedly were issued citations for disorderly conducted; another was cited for possessing an airsoft gun. 

A Philadelphia police officer injured his ankle while chasing a juvenile. 

The teens began gathering near Front and Market streets at 8 p.m., according to police. The mob moved to the Fashion District before entering Love Park and then retreating to City Hall. 

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Initial news stories reported that people were seen jumping on the top of police cars, and that some juveniles threw rocks at police officers. But police later told an Inquirer reporter that no property was damaged and no rocks were thrown. They also clarified that no one was arrested, as initially reported. 

Videos posted online show large groups of people running through the streets. SEPTA police also got involved when teens apparently attempted to enter the subway.

Police closed some roads in an attempt to disperse the crowd. By 10 p.m., the crowd was gone. 

The injured police officer's condition is non-life threatening, according to officials.

"Tonight, a large group of mostly young people was being destructive and disruptive in Center City," Mayor Jim Kenney said in a tweet. "This dangerous behavior will not be tolerated. We take public safety very seriously – I'm grateful to (Philly Police) for responding, dispersing the crowd, and making necessary arrests."

The incident occurred amid the School District of Philadelphia's spring break.

This story was updated after police clarified that several teams were cited, but not arrested, and that no rocks were thrown at officers. 

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