Videos and pictures posted on the WTOC Facebook page showed
a lot of police and hundreds of kids in the parking lot outside Sk8 City after
several fights broke out.
It is one of those incidents were we'll never really know
exactly what happened. Stories on Facebook said police used pepper spray and
tazers, while other stories said K9 units were released on children and even
some shots fired.
The general manager and the Pooler Police Chief said none of
those stories are true.
It was anything but a normal Saturday night at Sk8 City in
"A Facebook message went out that basically said to invade
Sk8 City," said General Manager Mark Carpenter. "We were unaware of the number
of children that were going to show up."
Sk8 City received double their usual amount of kids, and the
problems began when the skating ended for the night.
"When they went outside, that is when the problem came into
play," Carpenter said.
According to the Pooler Police, several fights broke out,
and that is why so many officers were called out to the skating rink.
"All you could see was chaos," said mother Krystal Wilson. "You
had kids running from one end to the other. Cops started showing up and kids
were running up to the cars, swarming the cop cars."
According to parents and dozens of Facebook comments, that's
not all that happened.
"The cop just started spraying the pepper spray into the air
all around, trying to get all the kids away, and my daughter was caught inside
of it and got some on her face," said Wilson.
However, Sk8 City managers said that is simply not true. But
the gossip and stories have grown.
"As far as what it has turned into," said Carpenter. "People
getting shot, like getting shot in the face. The dogs, the kids getting tazed.
The pepper spray. None of that is true. It did not happen."
And the Pooler Police Chief confirmed what Carpenter said:
It didn't happen. Regardless, changes are coming.
"On my end, I have met with our head of security," Carpenter
said. "We are beefing up security next Saturday. I also have a meeting with the
police chief tomorrow. I do not want to deal with this. I will close on
Saturdays before we deal with something like this again."
But for some people, change or no change, that was the last
time they would lace up their skates at Sk8 City.
"They are never going
back to Sk8 City," said Wilson. "They even said that they were so scared that
they do not want to go back."
The Pooler Police said that three juveniles were arrested
and then released to their parents. Several people said a cop was attacked, but
according to the Pooler Police Chief, a cop was hit but it was not intentional
and no charges were filed.