4 teens in custody after random attacks near Temple University

NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Four teenagers are in police custody after a series of random attacks near Temple University on Friday night.

Students, police officers - and even a police horse - were caught up in the chaos.

Surveillance video from a nearby pizza shop showed the mob and the melee on Oxford about a block off Broad in North Philadelphia.

Police say the group of teens went from street to street, randomly targeting Temple students, beating them up and robbing them.

Joe Lauletta's daughter was one of the victims.

"Her head was stomped on. The whole side of her face, the back of her head was black and blue. Her arms, her legs, her back, her ribs. She was on the ground. They were kicking her," Lauletta said.

Two police officers were assaulted and a police horse punched in the face.

"It was crazy. They were just jumping random people," said sophomore Sebastian Brennan.

Investigators say it all started on social media with a call to meet up at the Pearl Theater, but so many showed up they couldn't get in. So instead, they split off into groups... dead set on starting trouble.

"It just doesn't make sense to be destructive or disruptive towards traffic that's right there, pedestrians walking down the street, to engage in behavior where you were assaulting someone," said Lt. John Stanford of Philadelphia Police.

The university sent out an alert, but some students and parents told us they thought it came too late.

"We got the alert maybe an hour and a half later when it was all cleared up. I was happy to get the alert but it wasn't really timely," said sophomore Nicolas Mackarey.

Temple's Director of Public Safety, Charles Leone, said patrols were increased Saturday night, and that's something that will continue.

"Especially next weekend's Halloween so we're going to make sure we have plenty of resources out there," Leone said.

Police did arrest four boys ranging in age from 15-17. As for the timing on the alert to students, the executive director of public safety told us there was so much going on, and it was so chaotic, they were trying to piece it together before alerting the student body.
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