Police shut down Rock Hill movie theater, break up huge fight in lobby

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Police shut down an entire movie theater on a busy Saturday night after a huge fight broke out in the lobby.

Some of the people involved ran for the doors, others ran into theaters, forcing the shutdown for safety purposes.

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"I was kinda scared. I didn't know what to do," said Steven Meade who saw the fight break out.

Meade had just left the theater he was in to complain to the manager because of unruly people inside the theater. Instead, he ran into something worse in the lobby.

"Almost instantaneously, everybody in the lobby got involved, 40, 50, 60 people involved," he said.

Rock Hill police said the large fight started outside and ended up in the lobby of Manchester movies.

It was captured on multiple cellphones and videos were given to Channel 9.

There were two off-duty officers working in the area, who responded quickly, but a crowd surrounded them as they tried to get control of the situation.

"There were more individuals that were surrounding the fight. No one was trying to break it up," said Lt. Michael Chavis. "Officers trying to make arrests were hit and pushed."

When officers arrived, people started running.

A second video shows officers arresting a 17-year-old outside.

The video shows the girl swinging at the officer, and the officer pushing her against a wall, then taking her to the ground.

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Yumekia Hughes is that teen's mother. The girl was charged with disorderly conduct.

"He manhandled her, pulled her hair, threw her down, threw her against the wall," Hughes said. “I just don't think it was right that he did her that way."

Hughes said police used excessive force, because her daughter was walking away and wasn't involved in the fight.

However, Rock Hill police said she was being unruly and using threatening language. They said she ignored repeated commands to stop walking.

Chavis said they are reviewing what happened and looking at all cameras, including police body cams.

Two juveniles were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct.

"We're gonna look into it. We're gonna do a formal review and see if it was excessive force, just like we do in all our use of force cases," Chavis said.

The two officers involved are still on active duty, and no formal complaint of excessive force has been filed as of late Monday.

Channel 9 was not able to reach the corporate office of Regal Cinemas for a comment Monday afternoon.

Moviegoers said everyone who had to leave got a refund on their ticket.