Posted on July 27, 2011

Downtown Greensboro “Flash Mob Beatings” Investigated by Police

DigTriad (Greensboro), July 27, 2011

You’ve probably heard of the term “flash mob.” It’s when groups of people use social media to pick a place to meet up and often sing a song or do a dance. Usually, those gatherings are fun.

But, some are turning violent. It’s happening all over the nation in places like Chicago, Milwaukee and Philadelphia. Now, it’s happening right here in the Triad.

Greensboro police say mobs of violent teens are meeting up on the weekends and wreaking havoc downtown. Police say it’s getting worse each weekend.


“One of the teenagers came up from behind and just punched me in the back and kicked me and knocked me to the floor. Then, he just continued to kick me, punch me, step on me. People were screaming,” Mitchel Sommers, executive director of the Community Theatre of Greensboro said.

The swarm came from nowhere and the beating lasted seconds.

“Within a minute, I’d say, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds . . . I’m not being dramatic . . . hundreds of young people . . . just came descending upon this area,” he said. “There were so many young people. I would say all the way from across Elm Street all the way to the park. You couldn’t even get out of the swarm of young people.”


Every weekend in July, Greensboro police have battled large, flash-mob beatings and vandalism


Texts, Tweets and Facebook posts tell teens when to be at the park. Then, the violence begins.


Greensboro Police will be out early Friday and Saturday evening with four to six extra officers, trying to stop these violent flash mobs before they get started.


[Editor’s Note: Newscast makes clear that police failed to disclose weekly flash-mob beatings.]