On Tuesday night, a flash mob of some 40 to 50 teenagers invaded the busiest and most tourist-centric part of Hollywood, smashing windows, stealing cellphones, and assaulting passersby. The police described the incident as a “rolling crime wave.” One police official said that the George Zimmerman acquittal provided the flash point excuse for the flash mob. “They’re using Trayvon as an excuse,” the official said to local media. “They were saying, ‘Let’s go mess up Hollywood for Trayvon.’”
The incident began when 911 dispatchers began getting calls about trouble on Hollywood and Vine, including young people running through traffic, bowling people over, and grabbing their purses and cell phones. The hoodlums robbed local stores as they charged down Hollywood Blvd. One took a cash register. “They kept moving from location to location,” said Officer Christopher No.
According to LAPD Commander Andy Smith, the group coordinated beforehand via social media, believing that police presence was distracted by the anti-George Zimmerman protests in Crenshaw. “What we’re thinking is these youngsters took advantage of our redeployment of officers down to the Crenshaw District last night and decided that this would be a good night to come up to Hollywood and act a little crazy,” said Smith. Overall, the police arrested 12 people, 11 of them juveniles.
The police are currently investigating surveillance video to find the rest of the suspects. Video appears to show more than one of the mob wearing hoodies. One witness said some were wearing masks. Three of the arrested females took video of themselves in handcuffs, laughing about it.