Zeitgeist

The Flash Mob Phenomenon

You have to admit it's getting worser, a littler worser, all the time... 

Witnesses describe mobs, some people claim racially-charged attacks
By Jay Sorgi and the WTMJ News Team
5 August 2011

WEST ALLIS - Witnesses tell Newsradio 620 WTMJ and TODAY'S TMJ4 of a mob of young people attacking innocent fair-goers at the end of the opening night of State Fair, with some callers claiming a racially-charged scene.

Milwaukee Police confirmed there were assaults outside the fair.

Witnesses' accounts claim everything from dozens to hundreds of young black people beating white people as they left State Fair Thursday night.

Authorities have not given official estimates of the number of people involved in the attacks.

"It looked like they were just going after white guys, white people," said Norb Roffers of Wind Lake in an interview with Newsradio 620 WTMJ.  He left the State Fair Entrance near the corner of South 84th Street and West Schlinger Avenue in West Allis.

"They were attacking everybody for no reason whatsoever."

"It was 100% racial," claimed Eric, an Iraq war veteran from St. Francis who says young people beat on his car.

"I had a black couple on my right side, and these black kids were running in between all the cars, and they were pounding on my doors and trying to open up doors on my car, and they didn't do one thing to this black couple that was in this car next to us.  They just kept walking right past their car.  They were looking in everybody's windshield as they were running by, seeing who was white and who was black.  Guarantee it."

Eric, a war veteran, said that the scene he saw Thursday outside State Fair compares to what he saw in combat.

"That rated right up there with it.  When I saw the amount of kids coming down the road, all I kept thinking was, 'There's not enough cops to handle this.'  There's no way.  It would have taken the National Guard to control the number of kids that were coming off the road.  They were knocking people off their motorcycles."

Another witness, who asked to remain anonymous, said, "it was like a scene you needed the National Guard to control."

"To me, it looked like a scene out of a movie," claimed the anonymous witness.

"I have not seen anything like this in my life.  It was a huge mob, and it was a fight that maybe lasted one to two minutes."

Roffers claimed that as he left the state fair with his wife, crowds near that entrance were large, and someone in that crowd .

"As we got closer to the street, we looked up the road, and we saw a quite a bit of commotion going on and there was a guy laying in the road, and nobody was even laying there.  He wasn't even moving.  Finally a car pulled up.  They stopped right next to the guy, and it looked like someone was going to help him.  We were kind of stuck, because we couldn't cross.  Traffic was going through.  Young black men running around, beating on people, and we were like 'Let's get the heck out of here.'  The light turned, and I got attacked from behind.  I just got hit in the back of the head real hard.  I'm like, 'What the heck is going on here?'  I heard my bell ring."

A quite useful website has also cropped up, documenting the various rampages across the country.  You can contact the site's author here to report more Flashmob violence.

My two main analytical articles on Flashmobs can be read here and here.  

Here's the full list, as of August 5, 2011.   

Date

City

# of Participants

Casualties/Damage

Source 1

Source 2

8/4/11

Milwaukee

Dozens to Hundreds

Mayhem and multiple assaults at Wisconsin State Fair

http://bit.ly/pe7pAt

7/31/11

Pittsburgh

~100

Teens causing mayhem and fighting swarm McDonalds, Trader Joe's, and a Target store

http://bit.ly/oHwnRb

7/29/11

Philadelphia

30-40

Teens assault and rob pedestrians, damage property

http://bit.ly/phiydX

http://bit.ly/pkr3fz

7/26/11

Winfield, NJ

150

Fighting and arrests at firefighters carnival

http://bit.ly/r5H4LT

7/25/11

Washington DC 

4

Victoria's Secret store in Georgetown looted midday

http://bit.ly/q4X9aB

7/23/11

Greensboro, NC

Hundreds

Man assaulted in park, former mayor's business vandalized

http://bit.ly/qxX2ao

7/23/11

Ottawa, ON 

35-40

Convenience store ransacked

,

$800 in merchandise taken

http://bit.ly/pxVico

7/17/11

NYC

5

Assailants assault and rob subway passenger

http://nydn.us/pGV1H9

7/16/11

Denver

4-5

Baseball-bat wielding thugs hit couple in the head, rob purse (same M.O. as Denver 6/26 attack)

http://bit.ly/piaIve

7/8/11

Redford, MI

15-20

Convenience store ransacked

http://bit.ly/pPHI6E

7/7/11

Minneapolis

Unknown

Mother and daughters assaulted

http://cbsloc.al/pC4Plc

7/5/11

Atlantic City

100

15 men fighting, 2 shot

http://bit.ly/kdI8kK

7/4/11

Milwaukee

15-20

Two gas station convenience stores ransacked, employees assaulted 

http://bit.ly/kByzTe

7/3/11

Chicago

~10

Assault with stabbing

http://bit.ly/j7KJeI

7/3/11

Bayonne, NJ

13-20

Young man brutally assaulted

http://cbsloc.al/o47cPQ

7/?/11

Dallas

Dozens

Convenience store ransacked

http://bit.ly/nSNizP

6/28/11

Atlanta

30-35

$15k in high end merchandise stolen from Sole boutique

http://bit.ly/jeld8h

6/28/11

Fairfield, CA

5

Convenience store robbed, owner assaulted and killed

http://bit.ly/pxzfec

6/27/11

San Francisco

4

Teens rob one man of camera, iPod, and bicycle. Twenty minutes later, same teens stab another man and steal his backpack

http://bit.ly/mMOnly

6/2611

Denver

4-5

Couple assaulted with baseball bat, stole purse

http://bit.ly/piaIve

6/26/11

Cleveland

75-100

Fighting at Coventry Street Arts Festival

http://bit.ly/kvEDAC

6/25/11

Washington DC

Dozens

Fighting after Caribbean Carnival

http://bit.ly/kQzui8

6/25/11

Philadelphia

30-40

Several assaulted

http://avc.lu/kfzfkd

6/24/11

Peoria

50-70

Mayhem in residential neighborhood

http://bit.ly/iF90Gk

6/23/11

Upper Darby, PA

35-50

Sears store ransacked

http://bit.ly/mRGI6F

http://bit.ly/iRYaLN

6/23/11

St. Louis

5

Teens assault and rob man near MetroLink station

http://bit.ly/lGPp0V

6/21/11

Chicago

50

Walgreens store ransacked

http://cbsloc.al/jvNdKR

6/20/11

Columbia, SC

8

18 year old brutally assaulted

http://bit.ly/kGIMbz

6/18/11

Northern VA

5

Two incidents of robbery + assaults

http://wapo.st/nrburY

6/15/11

Kansas City

25-30

Mayhem in residential neighborhood

http://bit.ly/jjfGLE

6/15/11

Solon, OH

5

Teens threaten and chase victim after he declines to give them a cigar

http://bit.ly/kjvva2

6/15/11

Vancouver, BC 

Thousands

140 injured and $5M CAD in property damage after Stanley Cup game

http://bit.ly/iMzM4H

6/7/11

Chicago

15

Mob stormed CTA buses, stole electronic devices - Two separate attacks

http://bit.ly/jDO6G5

http://bit.ly/mJzlF6

6/6/11

Bessemer, AL

Dozens

Fighting at amusement park

http://bit.ly/jivjIu

6/4/11

Chicago

15-20

Harassing, refusing to let pedestrians go past on sidewalk

http://bit.ly/jobY3C

6/4/11

Chicago

15-20

68 year old man robbed while sitting on bench

http://trib.in/ixQ6h4

6/4/11

Chicago

15-20

Man robbed of his iPod on bicycle path, then a bicyclist assaulted and robbed of wallet, bike, and iPhone

http://trib.in/ixQ6h4

6/4/11

Chicago

15-20

Man assaulted while sitting on his scooter

http://bit.ly/kr02x6

5/30/11

Chicago

Unknown

Fighting, harassing

http://bit.ly/myMFQL

5/30/11

Nashville

Hundreds

Crowd causing mayhem shuts down water park

http://bit.ly/mOun2r

5/30/11

Boston

<1000

Fighting

http://bo.st/iRWcHj

5/31/11

NYC

Hundreds

Fighting

http://bit.ly/linl7A

5/22/11

NYC

15-20

Dunkin Donuts store ransacked

http://bit.ly/lZ9zNN

http://bit.ly/kFo6D6

5/1/11

Las Vegas

35

Convenience store ransacked

http://bit.ly/mRwXRM

4/29/11

Washington DC

20-30

Clothing store robbery

http://bit.ly/jXFlaf

4/19/11

Harrisburg

8

Bicyclist assaulted

http://bit.ly/raJ0Lo

4/17/11

Atlanta

20-30

Delta employees assaulted on MARTA train

http://bit.ly/ikAGM2

4/16/11

Los Angeles

Hundreds

One man shot on the Venice Beach boardwalk

http://lat.ms/jiVnaQ

http://bit.ly/lijFQM

4/10/11

Chicago

70

Mayhem at McDonalds

http://bit.ly/m8hIse

4/9/11

Rock Hill, SC

8

Group attacks gay man outside of convenience store

http://bit.ly/hNJMPs

http://bit.ly/pqJykY

4/?/11

Chicago

100

Bicyclists assaulted

http://cbsloc.al/iBbeHJ

4/?/11

Washington DC

20-25

Clothing store robbery at Georgetown Tee's

http://bit.ly/ltpjbW

2/28/11

Irvington, NJ

5

High school students attack math teacher

http://bit.ly/esw0Ck

2/23/11

St. Paul

30-50

Convenience store ransacked

http://bit.ly/hle3CN

2/20/11

Sacramento

6-8

Local news reporter and photographer assaulted

http://bit.ly/nxSJhv

2/13/11

South Orange, NJ

500

Mayhem in suburb

http://bit.ly/jezO43

http://bit.ly/lJ53Yr

1/26/11

Memphis

~10

Photojournalist assaulted, camera damaged

http://bit.ly/gVMEk4

1/21/11

NYC

5

Teenage girls attack Wendy's cashier after she asks them to behave or leave (they were fighting and throwing food)

http://bit.ly/p9kBoV

1/2/11

Milwaukee

Dozens

Mayhem at Mayfair Mall

http://bit.ly/iKX6qX

1/?/11

Chicago

11

The North Face, Filene’s Basement, Express, and AX Armani Exchange store robberies

http://bit.ly/ms4Iow

http://cbsloc.al/fW8tr2

12/25/10

Bradenton, FL

Dozens

Marine and wife assaulted at theater

http://fxn.ws/hzGn7y

12/3/10

Birmingham

6

Convenience store ransacked, store owners assaulted

http://bit.ly/ft4v6y

11/19/10

Seattle

5

Teenage girls attack pregnant girl on bus

http://bit.ly/ghb3m2

11/17/10

Madison, WI

4

Teens chase, assault, and rob teenager

http://bit.ly/qKHZm0

10/23/10

Buffalo

5

Teens beat and robbed five University of Buffalo students

http://bit.ly/qLlzAI

10/9/10

Harrisburg

> Dozen

Husband, wife, and two friends assaulted near Restaurant Row

http://bit.ly/aJIj06

10/?/10

St. Paul

20

BP convenience store ransacked, store clerk assaulted

http://bit.ly/mw7qtC

(See video at 1:18 mark)

9/24/10

Monroe, OH

5

Teen girls shoplift over $1,600 in merchandise from mall

http://bit.ly/raFGFQ

9/23/10

Champaign,IL

4

Man assaulted

http://bit.ly/pYgZaq

8/21/10

Des Moines

30-40

Assaults at Iowa State Fairgrounds

http://bit.ly/nLXpgY

6/17/10

Cleveland

Dozens

Fighting at Coventry Street Arts Festival

http://bit.ly/deCkQm

6/14/10

Pittsburgh

8

26 year old bicyclist attacked and robbed of backpack

http://bit.ly/aWVboi

5/8/10

New Orleans

6

Two men assaulted and robbed near French Quarter

http://bit.ly/d2JMTK

4/24/10

Chattanooga

250

Five people shot, no fatalities

http://bit.ly/aDHIVN

4/10/10

Kansas City

700-900

Assaults on the Country Club Plaza

http://bit.ly/m4XJEQ

4/4/10

NYC

>100

Four people shot in Times Square

http://nyti.ms/cPhftF

3/2?/10

Cleveland

6-7

Teens pull 73 year old man from car, viciously assault man and passenger

http://fxn.ws/9E87bT

3/20/10

Philadelphia

<1000

Assaults

http://nyti.ms/cnCpXt

http://bit.ly/bt6lwi

3/3/10

Philadelphia

50-100

Fighting

http://bit.ly/iyJgBF

2/16/10

Philadelphia

150

Macy's store vandalized

http://nydn.us/bxHnj5

1/17/10

Atlanta

9

Three cars stolen, then $50k in jeans stolen during smash-and-grab from Focus Clothing in downtown Atlanta, then another smash and grab at convenience store

http://bit.ly/7eQ2hC

1/10/10

Atlanta

4

Smash-and-grab robbery at liquor store

http://bit.ly/8KuNtd

12/18/09

Philadelphia

70-100

Assaults

http://bit.ly/jRSo5F

12/3/09

Philadelphia

70

30 Asian students assaulted by fellow black students

http://bit.ly/o97LIb

9/24/09

Chicago

Dozens

16 year old beaten to death with wooden plank

http://huff.to/1as9xi

7/4/09

Akron

<50

Family assaulted after watching fireworks

http://bit.ly/naUKBk

8/1/09

Stockton, CA

20-25

Convenience store ransacked 

http://bit.ly/nCZ9fm

7/?/09

Stockton, CA

20-25

Convenience store ransacked

http://bit.ly/lWehpE

http://bit.ly/nCZ9fm

6/6/09

Columbia, MO

7

Man brutally attacked in parking garage

http://bit.ly/nVXVc6

http://bit.ly/pbjm0n

5/30/09

Philadelphia

>100

One male severely beaten, cars damaged (taxi stolen), convenience store ransacked, other individuals assaulted

http://bit.ly/iITxt6

5/20/09

Atlanta

4

For third time in a month, optical store is victimized by smash-and-grab robbery; this time $50K in designer eyeglass frames are stolen

http://bit.ly/r7bW1S

5/13/09

Washington DC

9

Clothing store robbery

http://bit.ly/2kQQ7

10/26/08

NYC

5

Teens beat and rob subway passenger for iPod and mobile phone

http://bit.ly/o8usCw

10/25/08

Seattle

5

Five teens beat beloved Tuba Man to death

http://bit.ly/ly7cTv

7/26/08

St. Louis

>20

Family of five returning home from airport attacked near MetroLink parking lot

http://bit.ly/ohCDcK

6/10/08

Unknown

~100

Convenience store ransacked

http://bit.ly/qM2jtf

6/1/08

Mt Clemens, MI

12-20

Group beats man unconscious, assaults another - Later, group robs and assaults man at gas station

http://bit.ly/ov9pfW

http://bit.ly/nQVbDs

4/14/08

Maywood, IL

5

Chicago women rob clothing store, crash car

http://bit.ly/pgbqji

4/?/08

Polk County, FL

8

Teenagers beat up student to post video on MySpace and YouTube

http://bit.ly/nD39Q

3/26/08

Philadelphia

5

Five teenagers beat innocent SEPTA passenger, trigger asthma attack which kills him

http://fxn.ws/nNTcUA

11/23/07

Tuscon

100

Convenience store ransacked

http://bit.ly/pQp3Jn

4/1/06

NYC

4

Teenagers attempt to rob college student, chase him into street where he is hit by a car and killed

http://nyti.ms/oShA5F

3/30/05

Columbus

30

Four girls assaulted and verbally accosted

http://bit.ly/oE1VXV

9/29/02

Milwaukee

16

Man beaten to death after confronting youngsters who threw an egg at him

http://usat.ly/bWiVgG

4/20/02

Santa Clara, CA

Dozens

Fighting, convenience store ransacked

http://bit.ly/pphmi2

Unknown

Miami Beach

15

Retail store ransacked

http://bit.ly/qpI8mc

Unknown

Unknown

>50

Convenience store ransacked

http://bit.ly/pLz2WN

Unknown

Unknown

10

Retail store ransacked

http://bit.ly/qjhMZw