Journal Star, Peoria, Ill.
Feb. 8—PEORIA — Peoria police said they broke up a large fight at Elevate Trampoline Park late Saturday night but made no arrests.
Peoria police spokeswoman Amy Dotson said police were called to the facility, located at 8800 N. Allen Road, at 9:42 p.m. When they arrived, they found a large group of juveniles fighting inside while people were streaming out of the building.
The people inside were “punching each other and pulling hair,” according to Dotson.
She didn’t have an estimate of how many were involved, but videos on social media show dozens of people involved in a fight in the building’s lobby.
A call to Elevate was not immediately returned. A message was left on the facility’s voicemail.
An eight-minute video posted on YouTube shows the fight and the aftermath.
A crowd of people could be seen hitting and punching each other. The fight was mainly in the area where people walk into Elevate and where people put on their shoes before entering the trampoline section.
There wasn’t just one fight, but several small ones throughout the lobby area. People would move out of the way, and then another melee would start up. About 40 seconds into the video, two security members with Elevate are seen near the door trying to get people out of the building.
Employees managed to move some out, but then, another fight started up right behind them inside. People who weren’t participating can be seen using their cellphones to record the brawl.
One person is seen using a “Wet Floor” sign to hit someone. Another is seen throwing a trash can. Others are throwing whatever debris they can find. Dozens were standing around the lobby watching.
And every time it seems that people are about to leave, the fights resume.
Four minutes into the YouTube video, the fight, which had largely died down, starts back up as provocateurs within the crowd continue to goad the group that had left. It moves up the ramp and into the park itself. People can be seen running over the trampolines.
Then just as quickly, they move back down the ramp and near the door. Staff from Elevate are seen trying to move people outside, but they are greatly outnumbered. At about the seven-minute mark, the film — which starts and stops, making it difficult to tell how long things really lasted — moves outside.
Dotson said the group was eventually dispersed and moved outside, where the fights restarted. Police remained on scene until the juveniles were picked up by an adult, she said.
Paramedics with Advanced Medical Transport and the Peoria Fire Department were on scene to render aid if needed, but no one asked for medical treatment. A parent did say her child was attacked but declined to have that person treated at the time, police said.
The first arriving officer reported he could smell pepper spray in the building, but Dotson said flatly police officers did not deploy pepper balls or use pepper spray during the fracas, either inside or outside the building.
Detectives, she said, were reviewing the video footage in the hopes of identifying possible suspects. She asked that anyone with information regarding the identity of the aggressors to contact Peoria police at 673-4521 or CrimeStoppers, anonymously, at 673-9000.
According to the state’s Phase 4 COVID-19 mitigation guidelines, it doesn’t appear that trampoline parks are allowed to be open. The Journal Star reported them reopening in May when the region moved into Phase 3.
When reached for comment Sunday, Diana Scott, a spokeswoman for the Peoria City/County Health Department, said to check the region’s reopening website at restoreHOI.com. A link on the site’s front page gives a brief overview of Phase 4 guidelines. The overview specifically states that trampoline parks are not to be open during Phase 4.
Calls, text messages and emails on Sunday to the two spokespersons for the Illinois Department of Public Health were not immediately returned.
City Manager Patrick Urich said Sunday that the city will look into the matter and “if it needs to be referred to the health department for enforcement of the governor’s guidelines, then we will do that.”
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