PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — South Street turned into a chaotic scene on the Fourth of July. Police say dozens of teenagers terrorized businesses and caused thousands of dollars in damages.
Many of the people Eyewitness News spoke to believe the crowd originated from Penn’s Landing and traveled up South Street, gaining in size and causing nearly $7,000 in destruction, according to police.
Starting around 10 p.m. Thursday, much of South Street went into lockdown. According to Eyewitness News viewer Rick Lo, it started as some teens just running around, but at 8th and South Streets, the scene escalated into violence with one male apparently being jumped by a group before police rushed to intervene.
“Multiple people — minors, adults, a whole lot of crowd just moved up from South Street, lower end from Penn’s Landing,” City Diner manager Brianna Lostritto said.
As the crowd moved west on South Street, businesses still open at the time either chose or were advised by police to lock their doors.
“They had to lock our doors up. They blocked our doors from people coming in,” Lostritto said.
By the time the large group of young people made it to 18th and South Street, police say it had grown to about 60 people strong.
According to police, that’s when Walgreens was hit by the crowd. Dozens entered, looting the interior of the store.
Large groups of teens causing brief chaos is something that most Philadelphians Eyewitness News spoke with say has gotten out of hand.
“They don’t have no discipline. They don’t have no respect, they don’t respect their elders, they don’t respect us,” one woman said.
Police are sorting through surveillance video to identify those involved with the violence and destruction of property.
There is a curfew for minors on South Street that would have gone into effect a half hour after the crowd passed through.