Police Arrest 29 People After 400-Person Brawl Erupts

[Screenshot/X/User - @HCSOSheriff]

Fiona McLoughlin Contributor
Font Size:

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) said they arrested 29 people Saturday after a brawl consisting of 400 to 500 people erupted in a Florida parking lot.

An off-duty deputy called for assistance after a large crowd started fighting in the parking lot of Astro Skate, a skating rink in Brandon, Florida, according to an HCSO press release. The incident occurred at around 9:20 p.m.

The fight erupted after a planned after-party at the skating rink was canceled due to failure to comply with the businesses’ policy, the press release says. Astro Skate requires those hosting a private party to hire an off-duty deputy for an event, which those involved in this incident allegedly did not do.

The group’s party was reportedly canceled but refunded,. The group, however, took to social media to air their grievances and asked for people to come “riot at the business and confront law enforcement,” leading to the brawl, according to the sheriff’s office.

“Deputies issued multiple warnings, informing the crowd they were trespassing and needed to leave,” the press release states. “Despite this, the crowd continued fighting, damaging businesses, stealing, and disrupting business operations.”

A group of people caused $500 worth of damage to a convenience store after damaging wine bottles and stealing merchandise, HSCO said. (RELATED: Woman Brutally Smashed In The Head With Bowling Ball After Wild Brawl Breaks Out In Miami).

Another group broke away from the brawl and allegedly attacked a juvenile who was inside a local barber shop, the sheriff’s office said.

“The victim was beaten and thrown through the shop’s plate-glass window,” the press release states. He was transported to a local hospital with a severe injury to his hand but no life-threatening injuries.

“I am outraged by the violent and disruptive behavior that targeted hard-working people and businesses and created harm, fear and chaos in our community. Let me make this unequivocally clear: this violent and destructive behavior will never, under any circumstances, be tolerated in Hillsborough County,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said..

“When responding to a scene as hectic as this, our deputies must account for potential danger from any direction. As you can see in the horrifying footage, these individuals had no regard for safety[.] [O]ur deputies had to step in to defuse the situation professionally and swiftly,” Chronister added.

Police arrested six adults and 23 juveniles during the incident, according to HSCO.