CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio - Cleveland Heights residents aired their concerns about flash mobs at a packed meeting Wednesday night. They weren't talked about the kind of flash mobs that show up at an airport or shopping mall to sing Christmas carols--but crowds of teens like those who jammed onto Coventry in June during the Coventry Street Fair, fighting and causing trouble.
"We have a population of young people that have absolutely nothing to do with their time," Cleveland Heights resident Renaldo Gates said.
Gates was one of the vendors at the fair. He saw about 1,500 kids congregate on both sides of the street. When someone set off a firecracker, the crowd began running up the street, knocking down anyone in their path.
Cleveland Heights Police Chief Jeff Robertson, who prefers the term "flash crowds," said 16 arrests were made for fights and intoxication. Robertson said only three of those arrested were from Cleveland Heights.
In response, the city has imposed a special 6 p.m. curfew in the Coventry Road area.
Resident Leatrice Tolls, who opposes the curfew, said its time to "reign in the fear" and give the kids something to do.