Four people, including an off-duty police detective and his wife, were injured in a “flash mob”-style attack in downtown Philadelphia.
Police said a large crowd of juveniles were in a popular dining and shopping area on 16th and Walnut streets at around 6 p.m. Saturday when some people randomly started assaulting people in the street, the Associated Press reported.
A 55-year-old off-duty police detective was punched in the face after he tried to arrest one of the offenders for assaulting a 20-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman.
The detective’s 53-year-old wife splashed water on the offenders to stop them from attacking her husband but got punched in the face as a result of her actions, police said.
All of the offenders left the scene after the incident.
One of the five people assaulted declined medical attention, but the other four went to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital for treatment.
The off-duty detective suffered an orbital fracture to his right eye while the others suffered minor injuries.
Right after the first assault, two 16-year-olds were arrested for assaulting another victim, police said. The victim suffered minor injuries but declined medical attention.
One man told WPVI that he was in fear for his safety when the group of teens appeared, and he witnessed others running into nearby stores to escape, according to the Associated Press.
“It’s crazy out here,” said Dwight Magood. “I don’t know if they were trying to protest or ‘flash mobbing.’ But it’s not the right way to do it, whatever it was.”
Philadelphia has had its fair share of flash mob attacks before. In October, four teens were arrested for attacking bystanders at Temple University.