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June 09, 2024

6 arrests made as 'unruly' crowds cause Pennsauken summer kick-off event to end early

The family-friendly fireworks show was cut short due to public safety concerns after large groups of young people caused disturbances, authorities say.

Investigations Public Safety
pennsauken event arrests Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Pennsauken Township's summer kick-off fireworks show ended early due to 'unruly' crowds that gathered at the event. Four adults and two juveniles were arrested, authorities say.

A community event in Camden County was cut short Saturday evening after large crowds became "unruly," authorities say. Six arrests were made.

Pennsauken Township's Summer Kick Off celebration was scheduled for 6-9 p.m. at the Pennsauken Community Recreation Complex, at Westfield and Bethel avenues. The event was meant to offer family entertainment, food trucks, DJ music and fireworks. But, authorities ended the kick-off early due to public safety concerns.

MORE: Arrest made in Ocean City boardwalk stabbing that occurred over Memorial Day weekend

"On the advice of Pennsauken’s Office of Emergency Management and our first responders, Township Administration has made the decision to end this year’s Summer Kick Off, early," township officials said on Facebook on Saturday. "We apologize for the inconvenience, but the safety of our residents and the overall community comes first. We appreciate your understanding in this matter."

At the kick-off, multiple large crowds began forming, separate from "community members who were trying to enjoy this event," Pennsauken police chief Philip P. Olivo said in a statement on Sunday. The crowds became "unruly," prompting authorities to shut down the event. Police officers from Camden, Burlington and Gloucester counties provided mutual aid in clearing out the crowds.

Six arrests were made, including four young adults and two juveniles. They face charges including disorderly conduct and failure to disperse. A 20-year-old also was charged with resisting arrest.  

"This type of unruly behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in Pennsauken Township," Olivo said.

The early ending to Pennsauken's summer kick-off comes one week after another South Jersey community event culminated in arrests and injuries. At the Gloucester Township Day event on Saturday, June 1, hundreds of "unruly" young people congregated and began fighting, leading to 12 arrests and three police officers injured. Gloucester Township police are seeking the public's help in identifying several more suspects in the fighting.

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