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Officer injured after hundreds of juveniles cause chaos in Center City, police say


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    PHILADELPHIA (KYW) — An officer was injured after hundreds of juveniles caused chaos in Center City Wednesday night, Philadelphia police said.

Police said the group was out of control — disrupting the city and vandalizing property.

The incident unfolded at 11th and Market Streets just before 8 p.m.

From Market Street, the group made their way to City Hall, authorities said.

Police said the officer was taken to Jefferson Hospital and placed in stable condition. He was hurt while chasing a teen who tried to free another teenager who was arrested and sitting in the back of a police car, authorities said.

Three to four arrests have been made, according to police. The Emergency Response Team and Highway Patrol were at the scene to help police.

Police said officers were everywhere trying to control the crowd.

The crowd dispersed hours after the initial chaos unfolded, police said.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney released a statement about the “dangerous behavior.”

“Tonight, a large group of mostly young people was being destructive and disruptive in Center City. This dangerous behavior will not be tolerated. We take public safety very seriously—I’m grateful to @PhillyPolice for responding, dispersing the crowd, and making necessary arrests.”

One man at City Hall said he had to take cover when the group of juveniles arrived.

“I just seen a bunch of school age kids, 16 or 17, just coming together, don’t know what, so what I did was I ran the other way pretty much because I didn’t want any part of it,” Kenneth Merritt, of North Philadelphia, said. “Nowadays, these kids, they do whatever they want to. It’s like no structure or foundation at all. Because everything starts with the foundation, so if the foundation is not right, then this is what you get. It might be spring break, but still.”

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