DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines police took four juveniles into custody Friday night after a massive fight broke out downtown following an end of the school year celebration.
“When you have this type of event, you should know all your trouble makers. Get all your trouble makers and make sure they’re supervised,” Des Moines resident Tony Johnson said.
The event was RunDSM’s Summer Fam Jam at the Des Moines Social Club.
Phil Roeder, the director of Communications and Public Affairs for the Des Moines Public School said in a statement: “The Fam Jam has been a great event hosted by the RunDSM program to celebrate the end of the school year and the artistic talents of our diverse student body in Des Moines. Its popularity has grown in recent years, and last night the venue reached capacity, meaning many people had to be turned away. This did cause crowd control issues outside of the event. The Fam Jam event is a victim of its own success, in that regard, and will be taking a look at options for how to best meet its popularity in the future.”
Police said hundreds of teenagers were running and fighting near the DART central station. It got so out of control, police used pepper spray.
“That’s where this escalated to, the violence that was occurring around us escalated to the point where we had to deploy pepper spray in order to clear these crowds,” Des Moines Police Department Sgt. Paul Parizek said.
Parizek said this all could have been prevented if the event had planned for better security, “they did hire a private security company, but my understanding is that there were three people hired. It gets to the point where it’s predictable, so you know it’s preventable and we’ve got to have an expectation that everybody’s going to chip in to prevent these things from happening.”
There were several injuries, but police said nobody was taken to the hospital. DART said although the fights happened near the central station, there were no incidents inside the facility.