Hundreds Of People Riot After Party At Florida Skating Rink Canceled

By Bill Galluccio

May 21, 2024

running in the night
Photo: E+

Authorities in Florida broke up a massive, violent riot at a skating rink in Florida over the weekend. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said that a family had booked a party at Astro Skate in Brandon on Saturday (May 19) night. However, because the family didn't hire an off-duty police officer for the event, Astro Skate canceled the party.

After the party was canceled, the group posted on social media, urging others to join them in the parking lot to riot against the skating rink.

Just before 9:30 p.m., an off-duty officer called to report a disturbance in the parking. When other officers arrived, there were between 300 and 400 people rioting in the parking lot. It quickly turned violent, with rioters breaking into other stores and causing significant damage.

In one instance, a group of people assaulted a juvenile at a nearby barber shop, throwing him through a plate-glass window. The rioters also stormed a convenience store, smashing hundreds of dollars worth of wine bottles and stealing an undetermined amount of merchandise.

Eventually, officers managed to gain control of the situation. They arrested 29 people, including 23 juveniles and six adults.

"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, our deputies had to step in to defuse the situation professionally and swiftly."

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