2 juveniles charged after fight in Rock Hill theater, disturbance nearby, police say

Police charged two juveniles Saturday after fights and disturbances in which officers were shoved and punched, officers said.

Police were called to a disturbance in the lobby of the movie theater on Cinema Drive in the Manchester Village area around 10 p.m., Rock Hill Police Department Lt. Michael Chavis said. At the time, an officer was working an overtime assignment at the Manchester Village fountain near the theater. Another officer was nearby at Manchester Park, Chavis said.

The fight broke out in the theater spilled outside, according to police. Inside the lobby police found many people fighting, Chavis said.

More officers were then called, Chavis said.

“It was a disorderly incident in the lobby that turned into a fight,” Chavis said.

Chavis estimated there were 60-80 people nearby as the fighting went on. Several people ran outside from the lobby, police said,

“Officers on scene inside the cinema were making people leave and officers on scene outside were not allowing people to re-enter the cinema after the large fight that had taken place inside,” the report stated.

One female juvenile then shoved an officer in the chest and face in an attempt to get back in the building, the report stated. The officer tackled the female juvenile who was then taken into custody by the officer and two other police, the report stated.

That juvenile was charged with public disorderly conduct and released to a family member, police said.

There was another incident near the retail stores in the shopping plaza at the same time, according to Chavis and a second incident report.

In that outside incident, another officer used the public address system in his patrol car to tell gathering juveniles to go home, police said. A female juvenile used profanity and refused to leave, Chavis said.

The juvenile ignored repeated commands from the officer, according to police.

“The subject was unruly, made threats to others in the public, and used foul language toward other people,” Chavis said.

The officer got out of his patrol car and told the subject to stop at least twice, according to Chavis and the incident report.

The officer then took the subject by her wrist in an an attempt to detain her, according to the incident report. The young woman threw a punch, hitting the officer in the shoulder, police said.

Another officer then assisted, according to Chavis and the report.

The officers “were struck multiple times from the rear by unidentified subjects,” the report stated.

One of the officers drew his electric stun gun during the incident and advised everyone to back away, the incident report stated. The electric stun gun was not discharged, Chavis said.

The second juvenile suspect also was charged with public disorderly conduct.

Police are still investigating the incidents to determine if more charges are pending, Chavis said.

Police have body cam video from the officers, Chavis said. Additionally, police have received video from others who were present at both incidents inside and outside the theater, Chavis said.

Chavis also confirmed that cellphone video from the incidents has been circulated on social media.

No complaints about the incident have been filed and no action has been taken by department officials against any of the officers involved, Chavis said. The department is doing a review of the incident to make sure that actions were handled according to police department policies.

“We are doing a full review of these incidents to make sure it was handled according to our training and policy,” Chavis said.

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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.