Mob of 100 youths rob and assault restaurant patrons in Philadelphia on Saturday night.
A similar flash mob attack occurred last year in the same area.
The two young women were sitting at a window table inside the Max Brenner restaurant on 15th Street, near Walnut, sharing chocolate fondue after some shopping.
The streets were vibrant. The weather was nice.
“The city had a good vibe,” remembered one of the women, Maria, who requested her full name not be printed.
But their night on the town was about to become frightening.
Heading their way was a pack of teens roving through Center City after leaving a North Philadelphia music festival.
They were part of about 100 or more young people who had left Saturday night’s event, police said, committing a series of violent assaults and robberies, including one against Maria, 25, of North Philadelphia, and her cousin Cecilia, 29, of Havertown…
…About 10 p.m., Maria said, she saw a shirtless teenager run past the restaurant.
“He was running in the middle of the street and looked like he was running away from someone,” she said.
Maria tucked away her phone and wallet, which had been sitting on the table.
She grew up in Brazil, she said, and was more street-smart than her cousin.
Before she could tell Cecilia to put her cell phone away, another teen reached through the window and snatched it.
Maria ran out after him.
She was on the sidewalk, starting to scream “thief,” she said, when someone from behind punched her in the jaw.
She said she turned, jaw throbbing, to see the girl who had hit her standing with five other teens. “What are you going to do?” she said the girl who had punched her yelled.
The teens were laughing, she said. “They were fearless. It seemed like they weren’t taking anything serious.”
Maria ran into another restaurant and called 911.