Pinecrest announced it will stop all movie nights and will reevaluate all outdoor programming while assessing safety measures to prevent the repeat of a flash mob June 17 when Orange police estimated 800 to 1,000 juveniles were dispersed using sirens, pepper spray balls and K-9s.
“Pinecrest will stop all movie nights and will reevaluate all outdoor programming while reemphasizing proactive efforts to support a safe, family friendly environment,” Jessi Fausett, director of marketing for Pinecrest, said in a statement June 18. “We are saddened by the inappropriate behavior of unsupervised minors at the family friendly movie last night. We appreciate the swift action of Orange Village and neighboring police departments in defusing the situation with no injuries and no property damage.”
Sixteen law enforcement agencies were called to break up a June 17 flash mob at the 58-acre mixed-use district on Harvard Road near Interstate 271, Orange Mayor Kathy U. Mulcahy told the Cleveland Jewish News June 18.
Orange police said in a news release the flash mob was inspired by social media posts.
“It was a flash mob,” said Mulcahy, adding it “went viral” on social media. The teens, she said, were attracted to the free viewing of “The Mighty Ducks” at Pinecrest.
“There were no shots fired at any time throughout the event, despite rumors to the contrary,” according to a news release from Orange police. “Several fights occurred, seven juveniles were arrested and turned over to a parent. No one sought medical attention and there was no property damage reported or observed. The Orange Police Department believes this incident was fueled virally by social media.”
The movie was promoted as part of what was supposed to a be a summer series, called Moonlight Movie Nights at Central Park. The 7 p.m. event was sponsored by the Cleveland Monsters and there were prize giveaways, activities and more, according to a tweet from the Monsters. The movie night page has been removed from Pinecrest’s website.
Mulcahy praised police from Orange and all 15 other agencies who responded: Bainbridge Township, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Russell, Warrensville Heights, Woodmere, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
“As mayor, I would like to recognize the professionalism and restraint exercised by the Orange Village police officers and all the assisting departments,” Mulcahy said. “I believe it’s to their credit that we had an outcome which included no serious injuries or property damage. With that many teenagers in one spot, anything might have happened. In these days of social media, flash mobs, and newly lifted COVID restrictions, we, as a society, have a lot of new issues and challenges to contend with. We must find solutions so we can continue to enjoy nice things and nice places to gather. We sure have work to do.”
Orange police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call 440-247-7321.