New video shows mayhem by unruly teens; 12 arrested after multiple fights at Gloucester Township Day

A total of 12 people were arrested, including 2 adult males and 10 juveniles.

Monday, June 3, 2024
New video shows mayhem by unruly teens in South Jersey; 12 arrested
New video shows mayhem by unruly teens in South Jersey; 12 arrested

GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WPVI) -- An annual event in Gloucester Township, New Jersey, was disrupted by unruly teenagers and multiple fights on Saturday, leading to a dozen arrests.

Police say as families were awaiting the drone light show at the annual Gloucester Township Day event in Veterans Park, officers noticed an influx of juveniles and young adults being dropped off.

They say around 8:40 p.m., approximately 500 young people began congregating in large groups around the basketball courts.

Authorities say they soon began fighting each other and running recklessly through the crowd. Officers quickly made two arrests, but say the crowd continued to remain hostile and disorderly.

Additional police officers from the Gloucester Township Police Department, as well as surrounding towns, were called in for additional support.

The Gloucester Township Police Department is right next to the park.

"That's the biggest surprise, that the police station is right here," said Caroline Egnatuk from Glendora. "We see police cars riding around all the time."

After the drone show ended and as officers began dispersing the crowd, investigators say large groups of juveniles moved to a shopping center across the street.

Multiple fights continued to break out over the next two hours throughout the parking lot of the shopping center, according to police. Video captured some of the teens throwing things outside of a ShopRite.

"As we were walking up, it already started. Officers were escorting two teenage girls to the police station in handcuffs and they had dirt all over them. So we knew it was a fight," said Debbie Rayner of Deptford.

Police say many of those fighting were wearing black clothing, covering their faces with hoodies, and wearing medical-style face masks.

"To my surprise, there was a large group of teenagers wearing black hoodies, the hoods were up, and they had black face masks on and that startled me," noted Barbara Berry from Gloucester Township. "I'm startled, I'm angry."

Several juveniles reported being assaulted, and at least two reported minor injuries. Both were treated at the scene and released to a parent or guardian, police say.

According to police, while a group of officers were dispersing a crowd, a 33-year-old man rode his bicycle at high speed into a group of officers, striking an officer in the back and knocking him onto the ground.

The suspect, who was identified as Ronald Jones from Camden, New Jersey, was arrested for assaulting the officer. He was also charged with attempted escape for allegedly trying to slip out of his handcuffs while being transported back to police headquarters.

Two other officers also sustained minor injuries as they attempted to break up one of the fights.

"Officers were being attacked. You know, I don't want to be in an environment like that. It's not safe," said Cheryl Lolio from Glendora.

A total of 12 people were arrested, including two adult males and 10 juveniles. Jones and Kevin Coleman of Pine Hill are facing charges of disorderly conduct. Coleman has since been released, but Jones remains in the Camden County Jail.

The 10 juveniles were also charged with disorderly conduct and released to a parent or guardian. The juveniles range in age from 13 to 17 years old.

  • Female - age - 15 of Winslow Township, NJ
  • Male - age 16 - of Cherry Hill, NJ
  • Female - age 15 - of Pine Hill, NJ
  • Male - age 16 - of Camden, NJ
  • Male - age 17 - of Camden, NJ
  • Male - age 17 - of Gloucester Township, NJ
  • Male - age 13 - of Winslow Township, NJ
  • Male - age 16 - of Winslow Township, NJ
  • Male - age 15 - of Camden, NJ
  • Male - age 15 - of Laurel Springs, NJ

"The lawlessness of groups of unsupervised juveniles and young people acting with total disregard for others, ruined a great family-oriented event," Gloucester Township Police Chief David Harkins said in a statement. "This type of lawlessness and violent riotous behavior will not be tolerated."

Chief Harkins says that 68 officers were assigned to or responded to the event, and at least 30 mutual aid officers from other agencies responded.

"These weren't kids there to have fun. These weren't kids being kids. They were here to cause trouble and it was very clear from the get go," he added.

Parents who attended the event say it makes them question if it's safe to come back next year.

"I'm not going to be bringing my son here and have to worry about him getting run over by a whole bunch of teenagers. It don't make sense," said Smith.

The incident was declared under control around 11:04 p.m. Saturday.

Police say they are still investigating what happened in the chaos. Additional arrests and charges are expected.