Five teens arrested for roles in Christmas night melee outside Jacksonville movie theater

More than 60 Jacksonville police officers were called to quell a massive fight and melee on Christmas night and a handful of teens and young adults are now facing Duval County criminal charges. So far, five people have been arrested on Jacksonville Misdemeanors Crimes charges – all for fighting, resisting arrest or some combination of the two, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The incident started when a group of teens and young adults rushed a police officer to try to force their way into the movie theater and the officer used pepper spray to fight them off, the newspaper reported. The group ran and the officer called for backup, but by the time help arrived there was a mass of people in the parking lot and 50 or so people involved in separate fights, the newspaper reported.

All five of the people, including two juveniles, arrested for Jacksonville Misdemeanor Crimes were arrested at the scene that evening, according to the newspaper report. In each of the arrests, the suspect did not comply with police orders to leave and in some cases police said the defendant pulled away or even took a fighting stance with the officer and had to be restrained by police, the newspaper reported. Shortly after the incident, there had been no word of arrests for the people who rushed the theater and triggered the whole incident. Some have questioned why those people and others fighting in the parking lot, especially when there is cell phone video of the incidents, have not been charged. But proving charges beyond a reasonable doubt with video alone is difficult. There were similar issues over a Memorial Day brawl at Jacksonville Beach, an investigation that was suspended twice because witnesses would not cooperate and identify people in the video. That could be the same issue here in these Jacksonville Misdemeanor Cases.

Jacksonville Misdemeanors Cases involving resisting an officer without violence can be tricky, especially in the context of a near-riot where more than 60 officers were called in. You do have the right to walk away from police if they stop you walking down the street or walking away from an incident like this, but pulling away and talking back to police in an incident of this magnitude is very likely to get someone arrested. Police are frantically trying to clear the scene and, if they have to put someone in the back of a patrol car who’s making their job more difficult, they will. Resisting without violence can also be a tough Jacksonville Misdemeanor Case because it is simply the word of the officer against the word of the defendant and most people on a jury often tend to go with the officer – especially in a situation such as this one. Our Jacksonville Misdemeanor Crimes Attorney can thoroughly investigate your case and, in many cases, help negotiate an agreement that will help you or your loved one into a pretrial diversion program and potentially have the adjudication withheld, as some of the defendants have already agreed to in this case.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Misdemeanor Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.