Chuck E. Cheese: Powder Keg for Family Feuds to Explode into Brawls?


Problems can arise, "when you have family members coming for a birthday party, and perhaps it was a divorce situation or a separation, where there were already uneasy feelings between family members," said Susquehanna Police Chief Robert Martin.

Chuck E. Cheese declined to be interviewed but issued a statement to ABC News regarding this story. Read the full Chuck E. Cheese statement.

"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," the statement said.

And regarding the recent incidents at the Commack and Brookfield locations, Chuck E. Cheese said that it had "reduced showroom seating and party parameters in response to recent incidents."

In addition, Chuck E. Cheese management said it had spent "$15 million to date on efforts to stop incidents like those.

"We are implementing an updated guest code of conduct, as well as rigorous market tests for additional security measures," the statement said.

But Chuck E. Cheese could perhaps stop serving alcohol.

There have been numerous other instances in which a celebration has quickly turned violent: sporting events, political debates, even Black Friday sales. In 2010, riots broke out in Los Angeles after the Lakers won the championships. In 2011, a peaceful demonstration in London against a police shooting ended in citywide mayhem that lasted for days.

"There's sort of a crowd mentality and a diffusion of individual responsibility," Schwartz said.

It seems so much more shocking when it happens at a Chuck E. Cheese, but we humans are wired to react to our environment, and a kid's birthday party -- the noise, the crowd, the stress -- has all the makings of a powder keg, waiting to explode.

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