JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (FCN) -- Five people are in custody after a huge fight outside a Jacksonville movie theater on Christmas Day.
The incident started around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night, according to a release from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, when an officer working off duty in the 13100 block of City Station Drive at the Regal River City Marketplace Stadium 14 was rushed by a group of juveniles and young adults allegedly trying to force their way into a movie. The officer used pepper spray to keep the crowd out and the people inside the theater safe.
It appeared the group then fled the scene. At that same time fighting erupted outside the theater, escalating quickly and the group in the parking lot grew to approximately 600 people, according to officers working the scene. The crowd appeared to be mostly unsupervised juveniles and young adults who were not patrons of the theater, the release detailed. The individuals involved were reportedly beating each other up and jumping on cars.
On scene, Lauri-Ellen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, said damage to cars was visible. Smith stated officers had to use crowd control methods to stop the violence, but did not offer specific details. "You've got these officers doing what they do tactically to separate, keep safe, sequester. Then determine who's responsible," she said on the scene.
According to JSO, about 62 officers responded over the course of the hour and a half long incident separating groups of youth and providing safety for those who may have been caught up in the melee. A safe zone was also established for parents and families to reunite with their children.
No serious injuries were reported and no reports of gunshots occurred. Smith said the investigation is ongoing.
3 facing felonies, 2 juveniles face misdemeanors
Tevyn Alonza Davis, 19, was arrested and charged with affray, breach of the peace and resisting an officer without violence for his alleged involvement in the melee. According to a police report, Davis was pulled out of a fight by an officer and took a fighting stance and refused the officer's commands to "stop resisting."
Jaquade Marquis Miller, 18, is facing similar charges for his alleged involvement. Miller has been charged with affray and resisting an officer with violence for allegedly attempting to punch officers attempting to disperse the massive crowd, according to a police report.
A 17-year-old is facing multiple charges including breach of the peace, refusal to disperse and resisting an officer with violence which is a felony charge.
Another juvenile is facing misdemeanor charges of public nuisance, refusal to disperse and resisting an officer without violence after she allegedly swore at officers and yelled racial slurs at police. A third juvenile has been arrested, but charges have not been released.
Save Our Sons shows up to court, offers to help Miller, Davis
Miller and Davis appeared in court Thursday. Davis said he wanted to join the military and the judge is considering releasing him directly to the military. Miller was released to the Save Our Sons and must go through its program.
No upcoming court dates were given for Miller or Davis.
Miller told the judge he's shaken up and ready to stay out of jail. His mother, who didn't want to be shown on camera, said she's glad part of her son's condition of release includes the Save Our Sons program. The eight-week program is designed to give the city's teens and young men another chance.
"Actually, it's my first time hearing about the program, but I am grateful that they were there and they can support my son and myself."
Bracy Taylor, the treasurer of Save our Sons, said the program teaches accountability and responsibility, and gives the boys a chance to vent.
"If they had an alternative to turn to, besides being the way they are, you'd be surprised," Taylor said. " ... We sit down with the boys, and we hear them, we give an ear to them."