Unruly youths raising concern in Center City

    The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is charging 16 individuals with felony rioting. The charges stem from a flash mob attack yesterday in Center City.
    The District Attorney’s Office says of those arrested, 13 were juveniles and three were adults. Police say the mob was running through the streets near city hall. One of juveniles also faces a charge of assault, after he reportedly elbowed a Highway Patrol Officer in the mouth.

    The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is charging 16 individuals with felony rioting. The charges stem from a flash mob attack yesterday in Center City. WHYY’s Aaron Moselle has more.

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    The District Attorney’s Office says of those arrested, 13 were juveniles and three were adults. Police say the mob was running through the streets near city hall. One of juveniles also faces a charge of assault, after he reportedly elbowed a Highway Patrol Officer in the mouth.

    Lt. Frank Vanore is spokesman for the Philadelphia Police Department. He says while flash mobs are hard to predict, police will be ready to react.

    Vanore: We can’t stop them from flashing. I mean if the kids are going to come, it’s really impossible for us to know when they’re going to do it or stop it. But they got to know that if they come in that area, they’re going to cause mischief, carry on, that we’re not going to tolerate it and they’re going to be arrested and charged.

    Police say this was the third flash mob attack in Philadelphia this winter.

    (update: 3/5/10 4:40 p.m. Police have charged seven more people, including six juveniles, with felony rioting charges stemming from this week’s mob gathering in downtown Philadelphia. A total of 19 juveniles and four adults are facing charges. Police say about 70 to 100 teens took part.)

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