Jacksonville theater melee involves about 600 people, say police

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- A Christmas night brawl at a Jacksonville movie theater ended with five arrests.

The Florida Times-Union reports the disturbance began around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday after a group of teens and young adults rushed an off-duty female police officer at the entrance to the Hollywood River City 14 theater. She fended them off with pepper spray and locked the theater doors.

Fighting ensued and the crowd quickly grew to about 600.

Jacksonville Sheriff's spokeswoman Lauri-Ellen Smith says "what can only be described as a melee" erupted in the parking lot. Some 60 police officers were called to the scene and used crowd-control tactics to clear the lot during the 90-minute incident.

There were no reports of serious injury.

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