Last Saturday, in the wake of a "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water" screening gone wrong, more than 100 youngsters terrorized Pittsfield Township, Michigan, local police say.
Deputy police chief Gordy Schick tells MTV News that the incident likely began when Cinemark theater employees asked noisy customers to leave and didn't offer a refund. (The theater's manager declined to comment for this story.) Police were called to the scene around 9:30 p.m., and the 11- to 14-year-old moviegoers "refused the officer's orders to budge," Schick says.
It quickly devolved into a free-for-all.
"When the officers got there, there were ... 100+ kids inside both the lobby and the theater causing a ruckus -- yelling, screaming, demanding a refund of their money," Schick says. "It just multiplied and multiplied. ... A lot of these kids were screaming and swearing at the cashiers."
Two of the youths got into a fistfight, and "it continued to escalate," Schick says. The mob overflowed into neighboring businesses, including a laser tag center called Zap Zone where another fight broke out (ABC 7 reports that one girl also punched the manager) and a grocery store that reportedly couldn't close because it was swarmed. Both businesses called 911.
Pittsfield Township authorities ultimately needed backup from other agencies (including the Michigan State Police, according to MLive.com) to quell the anarchic scene. Two of the teens were arrested for "being disorderly," Schick tells us, and then turned over to their families. No one was injured.
"We'll get a call from time to time to assist the movie theater with security for a movie we anticipate might involve fights or assaults," Schick says, "but this is something we would not expect to encounter [with SpongeBob] -- I believe it's G-rated."