Teen Dances at Shoppingtown? Questions after Saturday Night Disturbance

A disturbance at Shoppingtown is prompting a look at a teen center's security

Several fights in the Shoppingtown parking lot after a Saturday night teen dance have police, and the sponsors, looking at whether they should stage similar events.

The disturbances happened as the 'Neon Nite Dance Party' was ending, just before midnight on Saturday. A 17 and a 15 year old were arrested, after several police units were called to the mall parking lot to break up what DeWitt Police describe as numerous fights and disturbances. The dance was sponsored by The Spot, a teen drop-in center that's run by the Jewish Community Center.

JCC Director Marci Erlebacher tells us there was extra security for the dance, and that it's not the first time they've done this kind of event at The Spot. However, she says it's important that they keep their 'safe environment for kids' reputation. At the same time, Erlebacher says that The Spot is the only local place offering teen-oriented programming, and they'd like to continue dances. She plans meetings through the week to see if that's possible.

DeWitt Police Chief Eugene Conway says his department was notified about the event, but he also plans to talk with the Jewish Community Center to ensure better security if there are large gatherings at The Spot in the future.

The next dance is scheduled for mid-February, and the Jewish Community Center will decide soon, if they can hold it.