Although their slogan is “Where a Kid Can Be a Kid,” Chuck E. Cheese's prepares kids for some of the greatest truths they’ll run into as adults: the addictive thrill of gambling, the drug rush of salt, sugar, and carbs, the economic shortfalls of a monopoly fixing both the means of production and the mode of distribution, and the crumbling disappointment of seeing grown adults beat each other with their fists at what is, essentially, a playground.
Just this Monday, Chicago police arrested two 21-year-olds after a fistfight in a Lincoln Park area Chuck E Cheese's. The argument began over prize tickets, which are literally worth their weight in paper, and ended with three people injured and one bleeding.
This is far from being an isolated incident.
Chuck E. Cheese's offers some of the most entertaining bare-knuckle brawls outside of the MMA. Shit, even the Romans didn’t let the young around gladiators. At Chuck E. Cheese's, it’s mostly the kids trying to break up the parents while doing their damndest to avoid injury, both physical and emotional.
Here’s a roundup of the nastiest fights at America’s second favorite mouse-themed recreational facility, rated from 1-10 for brutality, hilarity, and innocent bystanders.
During a birthday party in Dearborn, Michigan, a grandmother asked a nearby group of young men to stop cursing. They told her to “shut the FUCK up” (+2 points), then one of them handed off his baby (+4 points), jumped over the table, and beat the hell out of the 5’2” grandmother, dragging her by the hair and punching her in the face (+3 points). Go to Hooters if you want to cuss, they don’t care. 9/10
Props to the camera guy for catching this so early. Watch the progression from argument to shouting match to crazy outnumbered fistfight. The fourth woman who comes bouncing up and puts her hands in the blonde lady’s face (+1 point), the zero-to-sixty ramped aggression, then BOOM, a straight shot to the face (+3 points). See the blonde woman hold onto her tickets but lose her kid in the four-way assault (+2 points). An extra point for the increasingly uncomfortable daughter in the lower left corner. 6/10
The cameraman says it all in this one: “I don’t know but it’s like, uh, explicit.” Two women, one whose softball-sized tits are trying to abandon ship (+1 point), the other has long since passed that milestone and is wearing just a bra (+3 points), at first held back by her teeny-tiny kid, then everything goes absolutely gorillas. The shirtless woman is stomped but won’t stay down until finally being put into a headlock by the only guy in the room big enough to stop her. Be sure not to miss the Deal or No Deal product placement (+1 point) and the most uncomfortable white family in American trying to enjoy their pizza in the face of adversity (+3 points). 8/10
This one comes out of Memphis, Tennessee, where 18-year-old and pregnant (+2 points) Juaneka Key was taking photos at her two-year-old’s birthday party when another woman, exasperated by the long wait, asked, “Dang, how long are y’all gon be?” Then her stepfather punches the inquisitive girl in the face (+3 points). Juaneka, her mother, sister, stepfather, and boyfriend were arrested for inciting a riot, threatening police (+1 point), and marijuana possession (+1 point). Juaneka denied any involvement, saying, “If I’m pregnant, why imma fight?” 7/10
These women in Commack, New York, do not know how to throw down. At least in the grandmother brawl the man handed off his baby so he could use both fists. In this one, the mothers are holding their kids in one arm while punching with the other (+3 points) while the dulcet tones of “Happy Birthday” continue to play in the background (+1 point). Terrible technique, no balance, forced handicap. These ladies should take a Krav Maga class before starting shit next time. 4/10
There’s nothing I can say that isn’t said perfectly by the uploader. “Ok, this what happened. 1 dude, 2 baby mommas, n alot of family drama. homeboy first baby just had a bday party today at chuck e cheese, but baby momma #2 who just had a baby for him 3 days ago, showed up wit her diking ass homegirl to show the new baby momma that they aint takin that shit no more. and well, i missed the first 3 seconds of the fight, where u see baby momma #1 steal off on baby momma #2, but after that, yall got the rest here. aye, props for my first viral video. peace.” [sic] 8/10 for the description alone.
Ciroc bottles wrapped in diapers next to juice pouches (+2 points), an 18-man melee (+3 points), the birthday mom trying to ditch the bill (+2 points), then being arrested with two others for selling weed and xanies (+3 points), while trying to ditch bags of morphine and crack (+2 points), followed by a shooting a few miles away (+3 points) where the fight continued. A woman interviewed said, “I don’t know what I would do, gather ‘em up and get the heck out.” It is unconfirmed if she was talking about the Chuck E. Cheese's or Florida itself. 15/10
I got in touch with CEC Entertainment Inc.’s Director of Corporate Communications, Michelle Chism, to see what they had to say about this fight club for shitty parents.
VICE: Why are people beating the hell out of each other so often at your restaurants?
Michelle Chism: A quick internet search could give the impression that incidents at Chuck E. Cheese’s locations are common, but that’s not the case. While even one incident is too many, over 99.99 percent of approximately 65,000,000 annual guest visits at Chuck E. Cheese’s go without incident. Sadly, just like kids’ soccer and baseball games across our country, typically the incidents are not with the kids—but regrettably the parents.
About half of these videos show small, young, unequipped employees trying to break up the fights, or more commonly, other parents. How’s security going?
We have always taken altercations in our stores very seriously and have spent more than $15 million to date on efforts to stop incidents like these from happening. Many of the measures we have in place—such as our Kid Check program, a state-of-the-art digital security camera system, employment of security guards, and additional safety precautions—are transparent to our guests to encourage an environment "Where a Kid Can Be a Kid." In many of our locations we have reduced showroom seating and party parameters to give guests greater personal space. Additionally, we conduct annual conflict resolution training with employees. A store manager is always on duty and we also employ security guards to, among other things, assist in maintaining order in a number of our locations. In many cases, the security guards are actual police officers. In the case of the incident in Commack, New York, that garnered significant media coverage, our manager called the police before the incident took place. It took the police more than forty minutes to respond and in that time the guests became unruly and our employees were forced to intervene.
On a related note, does Chuck E. Cheese's allow firearms where state laws don’t prohibit it?
While there are a few states which, for various reasons, require Chuck E. Cheese’s to prohibit the presence of firearms in our facilities, we have chosen to exercise our right, as a property owner, to prohibit any firearm possession in our locations. This decision is in no way a political statement by Chuck E. Cheese’s concerning firearms in general or a citizen’s right to possess a firearm. Like school systems across the nation, and considering that we are a children’s and family entertainment center, we believe that firearms are not appropriate in our facilities.
OK, thanks Michelle!
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