Independence Day celebrations got out of hand late last night when a flash mob converged on Center City.

For most people, it really was a great celebration. For others, the night ended very badly.

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It was around midnight, south of City Hall on South Broad Street, when innocent bystanders got caught up in a spontaneous crowd, that’s called a “flash mob.”


 It was another beautiful 4th of July on the Parkway, with a spectacular display of fireworks high above the Art Museum. First, The Roots took the stage, then The Goo Goo Dolls performed.

Throughout the day thousands came to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to celebrate our nation’s freedom and the place where it all began. And when it ended, the cleanup got underway – crews went to work up and down the Parkway.

As the crowds cleared for the night, a chaotic scene erupted on South Broad Street, near City Hall. Viewer video, obtained exclusively by Action News, shows an unruly crowd of young people flooded into the streets. Police rushed to the scene.

Jay Ingersoll captured the home video. Jay explains to Action News, “We left the fireworks probably not even five minutes into [the show]… and we left and we walked down Chestnut Street. And we got to 15th and Chestnut and we heard ‘Flash mob, flash mob, flash mob!'”

He said he saw fights breaking out, people getting punched as police moved in to try and make arrests.

These flash mobs are something that police and prosecutors have worked very hard to crack down on. There were a couple of them along Market Street during the school year. Now, it’s happened again.

It’s unclear how many arrests were made last night. But this investigation continues.

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