ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — There are growing concerns about safety on the Atlantic City boardwalk.
It follows the death of a store owner.
Atlantic City Police are investigating two incidents. Business owners on the boardwalk say they are being terrorized by groups of children.READ MORE: Wheeler's Arm, Hoskins' Bat Power Phillies Past Braves, 7-3
Eyewitnesses say it was chaos on the Atlantic City boardwalk Thursday night. Teens trashed a store, threatening the owner with a knife.
That man, identified as Mahmood Ansari, collapsed moments later when police arrived. He died at the hospital.
Mike Krawitz described the video he captured on his cell phone.
“It was just mass chaos. There was kids running all over, screaming, cursing, trying to run from police, fighting the police,” Krawitz said.
The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office has charged a 12-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl with robbery and other counts.
“This is an ongoing investigation. The two juveniles that were involved, 14 and 12, have been released. However, through some other evidence, we are also investigating some other juveniles that may have contributed to this incident,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said.READ MORE: Lower Moreland Will Not Mandate Masks In Schools After Tense Community Meeting
Tensions have been simmering since the Thursday attack.
The Merchants Association tells CBS3 another boardwalk store was ransacked. The damage was discovered Monday while our cameras were already on the boardwalk. We found police just beginning their investigation. This robbery has since been found to be false and the store clerk has been charged.
Business owners are rattled.
“The tourists, believe me, sometimes they come to my store — I have a store the next block from here. They say, ‘Is it OK to walk on the boardwalk?'” one business owner said. Looks like to me, after 5 o’clock it’s not OK.”
Councilman Kaleem Shabazz says an emergency meeting has been called for later this week with key members of government and the business community set to develop a plan of response.
“They are going to see a significant increase in police starting today,” Shabazz said.
The two incidents come to light as the boardwalk opens for another season as businesses are hoping to cash in on losses they experienced last summer because of the pandemic.MORE NEWS: 15-Year-Old In Critical Condition, 2 Other Teens Injured In Triple Shooting Outside Simon Gratz High School: Police
Atlantic County prosecutors are asking the public to watch the videos and help them identify other teens involved in Thursday’s incident.