Talia Kaplan, KSDK (St. Louis), July 6, 2013
Police say they responded to a pair of incidents in the Mercantile Exchange area Friday night right after the fireworks were over.
Police say right outside Takaya a fight broke out after someone took off with a valet’s cell phone.
A few minutes before that, a group of about 14 teenagers attacked an employee who works at Robust Wine Bar across the street.
People who work on 7th and Washington say they saw crowds of people take over the area.
Joe Stapf says he was ambushed and attacked while he was talking on his cell phone in the alley behind Robust during his break. He was talking to his girlfriend when one teenager punched him in the face and ran off. Then more teens started attacking him for no apparent reason.
“There is fourteen plus people in their group. When you see that many people around there is only so much you think you can do and when you want to take care of it yourself, one person can’t take care of fourteen people,” said Stapf.
His girlfriend, Tania Smolinski, was also a victim of a random attack in January. Police say she was punched while she was walking to her car in the Central West End.