NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – Moments of sheer chaos all caught on camera after a brawl erupted at a church fair in Norristown. Cellphone video shows people attack police and one officer putting a young woman in a chokehold.
A brawl between teenagers and police at Saint Francis of Assisi’s carnival saw several minors arrested. But now some are questioning police tactics over how an officer took one girl into custody.
Norristown police responded to break up a fight involving about 50 kids at the carnival on Saturday night.
During one arrest, someone in red shoes tried to get between the officer and the girl he was trying to put in handcuffs.
In the video, you can see the officer push that person away. That was when another girl in a black hoodie and jeans tried to intervene and ignored officers’ commands.
A fight then broke out between the girl and the officer. Another cop then threw the girl to the ground and a third officer appeared to pull out pepper spray while the crowded dispersed.
It turns out, however, that the officer didn’t spray anything.
“Very little force was actually used here,” Norristown Police Chief Mark Talbot said. “I had the opportunity to talk to (an officer) today and he said he’s glad he made it out of there.”
Talbot would not say if any police officers were injured during the incident.
Parents of the teenagers say they’re all between the ages of 12 and 16.
The kids also appear unharmed Sunday, but their parents believe the officers used too much force.
One woman said her daughter was put in a headlock.
“It’s not good for them to feel like they can’t be protected by the people that were trained to protect them,” the woman said.
Police are investigating what caused the fight, but several girls were jumped before chaos erupted.
The girl who was taken to the ground in the video remains in jail, police say.
The Norristown Police chief says his department is now investigating how his officers handled the matter.
CBS3 has reached out to the church but have not heard back.