Temple University in Philadelphia is on edge after seething “flash mobs” of violent teens roved the campus Friday night, terrorizing and randomly assaulting students. Four teenagers ages 14-17 have since been arrested and police presence reinforced around the rattled campus.
According to a statement from Temple security, hundreds of juveniles gathered along Broad Street around 8.30pm on Friday and roved the campus for nearly two hours, in what quickly devolved into an uncontrollable night of horrifying violence. Over the course of the evening two police officers were assaulted , six students injured, and one robbed. A police horse was also punched in the face.
The group of roughly 150 students reportedly organized the “flash mobs” on the picture sharing platform Instagram. They had planned to meet at 8pm.
School officials issued an alert to warn Temple students about “large groups of juveniles along Broad Street on/near Main Campus.” But in many cases, the warning came too late.
. @TempleUniv I got this TU alert 2 hrs after I was (& many other people were) attacked. Please do a better job of alerting when it happens
— Milanka Bee (@milankabee) October 22, 2016
Police said the violent mob went from street to street, picking Temple students at random, physically assaulting and mugging them.
A 19-year old woman, later identified as Christina Lauretta, and two men were assaulted by group of 20 teenagers who “kicked, punched and knocked [them] to the ground.”
Lauretta was left with a black eye and covered in bruises after she was held down and beaten repeatedly before workers at a nearby pizza shop intervened to save her, according to a testimony from her dad. Her phone was stolen during the altercation.
“These sick animals held her down and kicked and stomped on her repeatedly,” Joe Lauletta posted on Facebook in a post that was shared over 3,000 times “Every part of her body is badly bruised. It makes me cry just thinking about it.”
“It was nasty,” he said during an interview Monday afternoon.
Two people were charged with criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault and robbery in connection with the attack, Philly.com reported.
During a separate incident, a 15 year-old whom police tried to apprehend for hurling rocks at cars evaded arrest and knocked a police officer to the ground, causing her to fall off her bicycle, according to police. He was charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest.
Finally, in one bestial acts of violence, a teenager approached a police officer mounted on a horse and punched the animal in the face as police attempted to break up one of the mobs of youths.
He was later apprehended and charged with assaulting a police service animal.
In total, 50 juveniles were taken into custody. However no details have yet been released about the suspects, due to their age.
It’s not the first time that Temple University students are victims of arbitrary attacks.
In 2014 Temple student Abbey Luffey was severely injured and sent to hospital after a teenage girl repeatedly threw a brick at her face, in an apparently gratuitous act of violent. The girl who threw the brick was tried as an adult and sentenced to state prison last year.
Temple’s Director of Public Safety, Charles Leone, said the university would increase patrols throughout the week in prevision of Halloween.
“We’re going to make sure we have plenty of resources out there,” Leone said.