A group of brawling teenagers brought a London street to a standstill on Tuesday evening as hundreds of teenagers, some armed with baseball bats, descended upon a busy shopping street in Walthamstow and shut the entire place down.
The riot, which broke out near a London Underground station on Hoe Street, required more than 100 police officers and 20 police cars to stop the teens' fighting. Though the circumstances leading to the fight were unclear at first, social media posts soon revealed that it all actually started with a rush hour row between two girls, who were reportedly fighting over a boy, of all things.
Somehow, their scrap turned into a brawl involving more than 200 young adults – most of who are believed to be in their late teens.
Videos and photos soon began appearing on social media, showing groups of teenagers grappling with one another, young girls ripping off each other’s extensions and people being beaten to the ground.
The incident was described as a “gang fight” on Twitter, where some online users also claimed the fight was actually pre-planned.
Scotland Yard reportedly arrested three people in connection with the Walthamstow dust-up. However, remarkably, no injuries were reported.
“There were two girls fighting in a big group. They were fighting and punching each other,” recalled Nilufer Polat, 36, a server in restaurant on the same street. “Then there were hundreds of them shouting at each other. We locked the shop because they were all outside. I was scared. Police were trying to stop them but they couldn’t.”
“So many people came together and started fighting,” said Sangeetha Ratnan, who was working in Foster’s Supermarket when the fight broke out. “They were fighting everywhere. It was horrible. We were surprised that many students got together. It was very bad. We locked the shop. They blocked the road for three and a half hours and we had no customers.”
Although the police cleared the area within the next few hours, authorities have still asked the residents to avoid the incident site – including a “furious” local MP Stella Creasy, who took to Twitter to comment on the riot.
Furious to hear there is a fight outside Walthamstow Central station - will be following up with police but pls stay clear of area for now.— stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) October 6, 2015
The incident is the second dispute this week in the suburb of Walthamstow, as more than 100 youths brawled outside McDonald’s on the Hoe Street on Monday.
It seems to be a rather hectic week for the London police.