The Flash Mob Phenomenon

The Flash Mob Phenomenon

You have to admit it’s getting worser, a littler worser, all the time…

Witnesses describe mobs, some people claim racially-charged attacks

5 August 2011

WEST ALLIS – Witnesses tell Newsradio 620 WTMJ and TODAY’S TMJ4 of a mob of young people attacking innocent fair-goers at the end of the opening night of State Fair, with some callers claiming a racially-charged scene.

Milwaukee Police confirmed there were assaults outside the fair.

Witnesses’ accounts claim everything from dozens to hundreds of young black people beating white people as they left State Fair Thursday night.

Authorities have not given official estimates of the number of people involved in the attacks.

“It looked like they were just going after white guys, white people,” said Norb Roffers of Wind Lake in an interview with Newsradio 620 WTMJ.  He left the State Fair Entrance near the corner of South 84th Street and West Schlinger Avenue in West Allis.

“They were attacking everybody for no reason whatsoever.”

“It was 100% racial,” claimed Eric, an Iraq war veteran from St. Francis who says young people beat on his car.

“I had a black couple on my right side, and these black kids were running in between all the cars, and they were pounding on my doors and trying to open up doors on my car, and they didn’t do one thing to this black couple that was in this car next to us.  They just kept walking right past their car.  They were looking in everybody’s windshield as they were running by, seeing who was white and who was black.  Guarantee it.”

Eric, a war veteran, said that the scene he saw Thursday outside State Fair compares to what he saw in combat.

“That rated right up there with it.  When I saw the amount of kids coming down the road, all I kept thinking was, ‘There’s not enough cops to handle this.’  There’s no way.  It would have taken the National Guard to control the number of kids that were coming off the road.  They were knocking people off their motorcycles.”

Another witness, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “it was like a scene you needed the National Guard to control.”

“To me, it looked like a scene out of a movie,” claimed the anonymous witness.

“I have not seen anything like this in my life.  It was a huge mob, and it was a fight that maybe lasted one to two minutes.”

Roffers claimed that as he left the state fair with his wife, crowds near that entrance were large, and someone in that crowd .

“As we got closer to the street, we looked up the road, and we saw a quite a bit of commotion going on and there was a guy laying in the road, and nobody was even laying there.  He wasn’t even moving.  Finally a car pulled up.  They stopped right next to the guy, and it looked like someone was going to help him.  We were kind of stuck, because we couldn’t cross.  Traffic was going through.  Young black men running around, beating on people, and we were like ‘Let’s get the heck out of here.’  The light turned, and I got attacked from behind.  I just got hit in the back of the head real hard.  I’m like, ‘What the heck is going on here?’  I heard my bell ring.”

A quite useful website has also cropped up, documenting the various rampages across the country.  You can contact the site’s author here to report more Flashmob violence.

My two main analytical articles on Flashmobs can be read here and here.

Here’s the full list, as of August 5, 2011.

Date City # of Participants Casualties/Damage Source 1 Source 2
8/4/11 Milwaukee  Dozens to Hundreds  Mayhem and multiple assaults at Wisconsin State Fair   
7/31/11 Pittsburgh ~100 Teens causing mayhem and fighting swarm McDonalds, Trader Joe’s, and a Target store
7/29/11 Philadelphia 30-40 Teens assault and rob pedestrians, damage property
7/26/11 Winfield, NJ  150  Fighting and arrests at firefighters carnival
7/25/11 Washington DC 
Victoria’s Secret store in Georgetown looted midday
7/23/11 Greensboro, NC Hundreds Man assaulted in park, former mayor’s business vandalized
7/23/11 Ottawa, ON  35-40 Convenience store ransacked, $800 in merchandise taken
7/17/11 NYC 5 Assailants assault and rob subway passenger
7/16/11 Denver 4-5 Baseball-bat wielding thugs hit couple in the head, rob purse (same M.O. as Denver 6/26 attack)
7/8/11 Redford, MI 15-20 Convenience store ransacked
7/7/11 Minneapolis Unknown Mother and daughters assaulted
7/5/11 Atlantic City 100 15 men fighting, 2 shot
7/4/11 Milwaukee 15-20 Two gas station convenience stores ransacked, employees assaulted
7/3/11 Chicago ~10 Assault with stabbing
7/3/11 Bayonne, NJ 13-20 Young man brutally assaulted
7/?/11 Dallas Dozens Convenience store ransacked
6/28/11 Atlanta 30-35 $15k in high end merchandise stolen from Sole boutique
6/28/11 Fairfield, CA 5 Convenience store robbed, owner assaulted and killed
6/27/11 San Francisco 4 Teens rob one man of camera, iPod, and bicycle. Twenty minutes later, same teens stab another man and steal his backpack
6/2611 Denver 4-5 Couple assaulted with baseball bat, stole purse
6/26/11 Cleveland 75-100 Fighting at Coventry Street Arts Festival
6/25/11 Washington DC Dozens Fighting after Caribbean Carnival
6/25/11 Philadelphia 30-40 Several assaulted
6/24/11 Peoria 50-70 Mayhem in residential neighborhood
6/23/11 Upper Darby, PA 35-50 Sears store ransacked
6/23/11 St. Louis 5 Teens assault and rob man near MetroLink station
6/21/11 Chicago 50 Walgreens store ransacked
6/20/11 Columbia, SC 8 18 year old brutally assaulted
6/18/11 Northern VA 5 Two incidents of robbery + assaults
6/15/11 Kansas City 25-30 Mayhem in residential neighborhood
6/15/11 Solon, OH 5 Teens threaten and chase victim after he declines to give them a cigar
6/15/11 Vancouver, BC  Thousands 140 injured and $5M CAD in property damage after Stanley Cup game
6/7/11 Chicago 15 Mob stormed CTA buses, stole electronic devices – Two separate attacks
6/6/11 Bessemer, AL Dozens Fighting at amusement park
6/4/11 Chicago 15-20 Harassing, refusing to let pedestrians go past on sidewalk
6/4/11 Chicago 15-20 68 year old man robbed while sitting on bench
6/4/11 Chicago 15-20 Man robbed of his iPod on bicycle path, then a bicyclist assaulted and robbed of wallet, bike, and iPhone
6/4/11 Chicago 15-20 Man assaulted while sitting on his scooter
5/30/11 Chicago Unknown Fighting, harassing
5/30/11 Nashville Hundreds Crowd causing mayhem shuts down water park
5/30/11 Boston <1000 Fighting
5/31/11 NYC Hundreds Fighting
5/22/11 NYC 15-20 Dunkin Donuts store ransacked
5/1/11 Las Vegas 35 Convenience store ransacked
4/29/11 Washington DC 20-30 Clothing store robbery
4/19/11 Harrisburg 8 Bicyclist assaulted
4/17/11 Atlanta 20-30 Delta employees assaulted on MARTA train
4/16/11 Los Angeles Hundreds One man shot on the Venice Beach boardwalk
4/10/11 Chicago 70 Mayhem at McDonalds
4/9/11 Rock Hill, SC 8 Group attacks gay man outside of convenience store
4/?/11 Chicago 100 Bicyclists assaulted
4/?/11 Washington DC 20-25 Clothing store robbery at Georgetown Tee’s
2/28/11 Irvington, NJ 5 High school students attack math teacher
2/23/11 St. Paul 30-50 Convenience store ransacked
2/20/11 Sacramento 6-8 Local news reporter and photographer assaulted
2/13/11 South Orange, NJ 500 Mayhem in suburb
1/26/11 Memphis ~10 Photojournalist assaulted, camera damaged
1/21/11 NYC 5 Teenage girls attack Wendy’s cashier after she asks them to behave or leave (they were fighting and throwing food)
1/2/11 Milwaukee Dozens Mayhem at Mayfair Mall
1/?/11 Chicago 11 The North Face, Filene’s Basement, Express, and AX Armani Exchange store robberies
12/25/10 Bradenton, FL Dozens Marine and wife assaulted at theater
12/3/10 Birmingham 6 Convenience store ransacked, store owners assaulted
11/19/10 Seattle 5 Teenage girls attack pregnant girl on bus
11/17/10 Madison, WI 4 Teens chase, assault, and rob teenager
10/23/10 Buffalo 5 Teens beat and robbed five University of Buffalo students
10/9/10 Harrisburg > Dozen Husband, wife, and two friends assaulted near Restaurant Row
10/?/10 St. Paul 20 BP convenience store ransacked, store clerk assaulted (See video at 1:18 mark)
9/24/10 Monroe, OH 5 Teen girls shoplift over $1,600 in merchandise from mall
9/23/10 Champaign,IL 4 Man assaulted
8/21/10 Des Moines 30-40 Assaults at Iowa State Fairgrounds
6/17/10 Cleveland Dozens Fighting at Coventry Street Arts Festival
6/14/10 Pittsburgh 8 26 year old bicyclist attacked and robbed of backpack
5/8/10 New Orleans 6 Two men assaulted and robbed near French Quarter
4/24/10 Chattanooga 250 Five people shot, no fatalities
4/10/10 Kansas City 700-900 Assaults on the Country Club Plaza
4/4/10 NYC >100 Four people shot in Times Square
3/2?/10 Cleveland 6-7 Teens pull 73 year old man from car, viciously assault man and passenger
3/20/10 Philadelphia <1000 Assaults
3/3/10 Philadelphia 50-100 Fighting
2/16/10 Philadelphia 150 Macy’s store vandalized
1/17/10 Atlanta 9 Three cars stolen, then $50k in jeans stolen during smash-and-grab from Focus Clothing in downtown Atlanta, then another smash and grab at convenience store
1/10/10 Atlanta 4 Smash-and-grab robbery at liquor store
12/18/09 Philadelphia 70-100 Assaults
12/3/09 Philadelphia 70 30 Asian students assaulted by fellow black students
9/24/09 Chicago Dozens 16 year old beaten to death with wooden plank
7/4/09 Akron <50 Family assaulted after watching fireworks
8/1/09 Stockton, CA 20-25 Convenience store ransacked
7/?/09 Stockton, CA 20-25 Convenience store ransacked
6/6/09 Columbia, MO 7 Man brutally attacked in parking garage
5/30/09 Philadelphia >100 One male severely beaten, cars damaged (taxi stolen), convenience store ransacked, other individuals assaulted
5/20/09 Atlanta 4 For third time in a month, optical store is victimized by smash-and-grab robbery; this time $50K in designer eyeglass frames are stolen
5/13/09 Washington DC 9 Clothing store robbery
10/26/08 NYC 5 Teens beat and rob subway passenger for iPod and mobile phone
10/25/08 Seattle 5 Five teens beat beloved Tuba Man to death
7/26/08 St. Louis >20 Family of five returning home from airport attacked near MetroLink parking lot
6/10/08 Unknown ~100 Convenience store ransacked
6/1/08 Mt Clemens, MI 12-20 Group beats man unconscious, assaults another – Later, group robs and assaults man at gas station
4/14/08 Maywood, IL 5 Chicago women rob clothing store, crash car
4/?/08 Polk County, FL 8 Teenagers beat up student to post video on MySpace and YouTube
3/26/08 Philadelphia 5 Five teenagers beat innocent SEPTA passenger, trigger asthma attack which kills him
11/23/07 Tuscon 100 Convenience store ransacked
4/1/06 NYC 4 Teenagers attempt to rob college student, chase him into street where he is hit by a car and killed
3/30/05 Columbus 30 Four girls assaulted and verbally accosted
9/29/02 Milwaukee 16 Man beaten to death after confronting youngsters who threw an egg at him
4/20/02 Santa Clara, CA Dozens Fighting, convenience store ransacked
Unknown Miami Beach 15 Retail store ransacked
Unknown Unknown >50 Convenience store ransacked
Unknown Unknown 10 Retail store ransacked



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