A large group of juveniles reported to be fighting at the Bay Street plaza area was dispersed by Emeryville Police and mutual aid responders on Saturday evening. The incident began at the nearby Powell Street Plaza but carried over to Bay Street.
The disruption led to the proactive closure of several retail establishments in the area including IKEA, Target and Home Depot. The disruption also led to the temporary termination of the Emery Go-Round line that services Shellmound.
“At 4:42 PM Emeryville Police officers were at the Bay Street mall investigating a disturbance involving a large group of juveniles,” EPD noted in a press release addressing the incident.
“The juveniles refused to disperse and took over the streets. Officers gave them space to gather until their actions put drivers and themselves at risk. Due to the size of the crowd, officers from the California Highway Patrol and the Oakland Police Department came to assist in getting the juveniles to disperse.”
Powell Street Plaza and Bay Street in Emeryville have both apparently been shut down after a large fight broke out among a group of youths. CHP and EPD have shut off all car entrances (Video: Ryan Rubio) pic.twitter.com/nlJsuvfdLD
— The E’ville Eye News (@TheEvilleEye) September 13, 2020
Estimates of the size of the crowd was approximately 200 juveniles. “That mob beat up my girlfriends son last night, spent the night at the ER,” noted one commenter on The E’ville Eye Facebook page. “EPD was there, but stood by.”
“I was at Barnes and Nobles before the store closed and they had to kick us out,” noted a resident member on the Emeryville Nextdoor group. “When I looked out the window there was a huge crowd of people.”
Crowds of youths could be seen streaming from the area and over the 40th/Shellmound overpass where police cruisers had blockaded the road.
There were no reports of store break-ins or looting although the IT’S SUGAR candy store suffered some vandalism. One motorist whose vehicle was stopped near the crowd was slightly injured when a juvenile managed to steal his cell phone. EPD Captain Fred Dauer added that officers saw one or two juveniles carrying stun guns and another juvenile brandishing a machete.
The overwhelming police response may have been a reaction to the May 30 mass-looting of our city that saw at least 30 local businesses impacted. The area also saw a large group of youths violently assault an off-duty CHP officer last December.
No arrests were reported and the EPD is asking that anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact their Investigations Section at (510) 596-3700.
9/14 update: Story has been updated to reflect the EPD’s estimate of youths involved (200), a statement by the EPD regarding the youths carrying weaponry and a correction that the incident began at Powell Street Plaza.
Photo/Video: @ucdcmn via Instagram.