"one of the scariest moments of [her] life".
Six teenagers have been arrested in connection with the violence that occurred at Star City’s Vue cinema in Birmingham on November 23, 2019.
This comes after a photo of a group went viral, which included one boy wielding a huge machete.
Violence broke out as around 100 thugs, some armed, stormed the cinema, with sections of violence flaring across the entertainment complex from 5:35 pm.
The violence reportedly broke out before or during a screening of gang film Blue Story (2019) and continued into other areas, leaving children and families terrified.
Armed police arrived at the scene and were tasked with dispersing the youths who were fighting with one another.
Seven officers were injured as they tried to gain control of the situation while protecting diners and cinema-goers.
One 13-year-old girl was arrested for assaulting police while another girl, a boy aged 14 and a 19-year-old were also arrested.
Another 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of obstructing police while a sixth person was arrested on November 24, 2019, for violent disorder.
One woman called the incident “one of the scariest moments of [her] life.”
Another witness said: “Armed police come, Tasers come, all of the people that were fighting ran off into the cinema, hiding. I am shaking.”
Following the violence, Vue has decided to stop screening Blue Story at their 228 cinemas, stating it was to protect staff and customers.
The film’s director Andrew Onwublou, known as Rapman, posted on Instagram:
“It’s truly unfortunate that a small group can ruin things for everybody. Blue Story is a film about love, not violence.
“I hope blame is placed with the individuals and not an indictment of the film itself.”
While officers are working to make more arrests, a disturbing image of 11 youths standing together while one holding a machete has left people stunned.
Believed to be among the violence at Star City, the boys looked unphased after being caught on camera in possession of a weapon. Outraged people went on social media to slam the teenagers.
One person wrote: “Where’s these boys f***** parents!”
Another wrote: “What the hell is wrong with people?”
Officers have confirmed that two machetes were recovered in the disorder but Commander Steve Graham, of Birmingham West Neighbourhood Policing Unit, has appealed for information on the machete-wielding boy.
He told Birmingham Mail: “If he doesn’t seem to care it’s really important that he does, the picture is that clear that someone is going to know him, whether it’s a family member or a friend.
“So my appeal is to the family and friends who know that guy, tell us. We want to help him by diverting him down another path.
“If he’s still got the weapon, he will be dealt with, let’s not pretend otherwise.”
“But we need to divert him and other young people who think that that is acceptable because it’s not.”
Superintendent Ian Green said: “This was a major outbreak of trouble which left families who were just trying to enjoy a night out at the cinema understandably frightened.
“We worked quickly to move the crowds on but were met with a very hostile response and officers had to draw Tasers to restore order.
“Thankfully, the injuries to our officers were very minor.
“We’ve also recovered two machetes and a knife, and it’s clear that some of those who went to Star City last night were intent on causing trouble.
“We’ve had a great response from the public who have been very supportive of our officers.
“We understand that families with young children will have been left upset by what they saw last night, but we urge people to appreciate that our aim last night was to protect the public and restore order, and that’s what we achieved.
“We’re aware of a number of images and videos circulating on social media which appear to show those involved in last night’s violence.
“We are assessing those and have already had a number of phone calls from members of the public giving us the names of people they believe were involved last night.
“I’d ask anyone with images or video who has not yet got in touch already to do so that we can make further arrests.”
Watch the Disturbing Footage at Star City here:
#STARCITY | Five teenagers have been arrested after major disorder involving up to 100 youths at Star City in Birmingham last night.Two machetes were seized during the trouble, which saw pockets of fighting and seven of our officers left with minor injuries as they dealt with the crowds in and around the cinema within the complex.We know families trying to enjoy a night at the cinema were upset by what they saw, but our aim was to protect the public and restore order and that's what we achieved.Full story ?https://www.west-midlands.police.uk/news/five-teenagers-arrested-star-city-violence-leaves-seven-officers-injured
Posted by Spotted Coventry City on Sunday, 24 November 2019