Birmingham Star City: Girl, 13, among ‘machete’ brawl arrests

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Five teenagers, including a 13 year-old girl, have been arrested after a mass brawl involving machetes broke out at a cinema.

Seven West Midlands Police officers were hurt while attempting to disperse the fight at the Star City complex in Birmingham on Saturday evening.

One witness described it as “one of the scariest moments of her life”.

Police had to draw Tasers and use a dispersal order to clear the group of up to 100 youths.

Two machetes were seized and a knife was recovered from a roundabout nearby.

A girl aged 13, a girl and boy both aged 14, and a 19-year-old man were all held on suspicion of assaulting police. In addition, a boy aged 14 was held on suspicion of obstructing police.

One witness described it as “one of the scariest moments of [her] life”, as she queued to watch the new Frozen film with her daughter.

Choleigh McGuire said: “Armed police come, Tasers come, all of the people that were fighting ran off into the cinema, hiding. I am shaking.”

Another witness, Rachael Allison, said “a young boy was crying on the floor with his mother” as a number of people started fighting.

“The police told everyone to leave the cinema as they held Taser guns in their hands and started to bring in guard dogs.”

‘Intent on causing trouble’

The force was called to the complex, in Nechells, at about 17:30 GMT and cleared the area by 21:00. The officers hurt during the disorder suffered minor facial injuries.

Supt Ian Green said: “This was a major outbreak of trouble which left families who were just trying to enjoy a night out at the cinema understandably frightened.

“We worked quickly to move the crowds on, but were met with a very hostile response and officers had to draw Tasers to restore order.

“It’s clear that some of those who went to Star City last night were intent on causing trouble.”

He said the force’s response was necessary and to restore order as quickly as possible.

“We understand that families with young children will have been left upset by what they saw last night, but we urge people to appreciate that our aim last night was to protect the public and restore order, and that’s what we achieved,” he added.

The Vue cinema chain had been showing the film Blue Story at Star City but has now pulled further screenings of the release – described as a crime drama about two friends who become rivals in a vicious London gangland war – from its venues.

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