Today’s WSJ has a story on parents gone wild at Chuck E Cheese. That’s right, Chuck E Cheese…
In Brookfield, Wis., no restaurant has triggered more calls to the police department since last year than Chuck E. Cheese’s.
Officers have been called to break up 12 fights, some of them physical, at the child-oriented pizza parlor since January 2007. The biggest melee broke out in April, when an uninvited adult disrupted a child’s birthday party. Seven officers arrived and found as many as 40 people knocking over chairs and yelling in front of the restaurant’s music stage, where a robotic singing chicken and the chain’s namesake mouse perform.
Some law enforcement officials interviewed said they get less fights at bars.
Reasons for this bad behavior are many. This one I did not know…Chuck E Cheese serves alcohol at some of its locations! Why, why, why.
Also to blame according to experts interviewed, the “mama bear instinct.” You know, that feeling mamas get when you are going to protect your little cub, no matter what, even if it’s just from a kid hogging the video game (????).
Amid pressure from local politicians, some Chuck E. Cheese locations have stopped serving alcohol, added armed patrols, prohibited knives, chains and screwdrivers from entering the restaurant and making the machines more expensive to use.
The article has a whole “blotter” of incidents around the country, here’s an example…
This most recent assault, described in police reports, occurred after a woman in her 30s approached a 6-year-old boy who was playing a videogame. When the boy went to insert more tokens to continue playing, the woman grabbed the tokens out of his hand and told him to stop hogging the game. The boy went and got his 26-year-old mother, who walked over to the woman. The woman began screaming at the boy’s mother, and another suspect, a man in his 30s, grabbed the mother by the throat and pushed her against the videogame machine. CEC employees had to pull the man off the mother. Both the man and the woman fled the scene.
I’ve never been a big Chuck E Cheese fan myself, but not for these reasons.