Nothing ruins a child’s birthday party at popular pizzeria Chuck E. Cheese’s quite like a violent, physical fight breaking among the adults. Well, except maybe if you happen to be stuck on a ride when your name is called to go on stage. That isn’t fun, either.
ABC News has a Nightline report on multiple incidences around the nation where altercations involving adults were caught on cell phone cameras an posted to YouTube. One location in Pennsylvania is particularly troubling, as it’s had police called to the premise 17 times in 18 months, since 2009.
“A couple of problems we were able to diagnose,” the police chief told Nightline. “It got crowded, and kids would run into each other or fight over games, which would lead to parents getting involved in fights.”
Other fights were started when divorced parents would try to come together for their kid’s birthday, bringing extra family members and a lot of emotional baggage.
Sometimes families won’t even know each other, as one mom at another Chuck E. Cheese’s location reports another mother became “infuriated” with her, perhaps because her kids were taking too long in the photo booth.
“All I remember was hitting the floor and being kicked again and again in the head,” she told Nightline. “I think her husband jumped in and was kicking me too.”
Needless to say, this kind of behavior is terrifying for children, and totally unacceptable.
Chuck E. Cheese’s issued the following statement in part to ABC News regarding the story:
Despite our efforts, unfortunately altercations occur with a very small percentage of those who visit Chuck E. Cheese’s. And like kids’ soccer and baseball games across our country, typically the incidents are not with the kids — but regrettably the parents. For us, even one altercation is too many. Maintaining a wholesome, safe experience that sets a standard across our more than 550 locations is of utmost importance to Chuck E. Cheese’s, and we will never stop working to improve how we operate our business.
Again — parents, it’s not about you, so zip your lips and save the punches or your kid will have a memory that lasts a lifetime, and not a happy one.