Momma Bears Prowl Chuck E. Cheese’s

December 17th, 2008 | Sources: Wall Street Journal

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Chuck E. Cheese’s says it’s a place “where a kid can be a kid” and who can argue, but it’s also a place where adults get arrested for battery and disorderly conduct more often than you think.

The Chuck E. Cheese’s Brookfield Wisconsin franchise for example has prompted more calls to the police than any other restaurant in town, 2 years running.

Cops have had to break up at least 12 fights there since January, 2007 including a 40-person melee that spilled onto the stage reserved for the singing chicken and life-sized mouse!

“There’s a biker bar down the street, and we rarely get calls there,” local police Captain Timothy Imler deadpanned to the Wall Street Journal.

Imler blames the conflagrations on loud noise, crowded interiors and all the emotion wrapped up in children’s birthday parties these days. Oh and alcohol is served at most venues, and then there’s the phenomenon psychologists call the “momma bear instinct.”

Apparently when kids scope out the place they think “child’s play” and they’re off to the races. But adults for whatever reason see danger in all directions, like it’s the Serengeti or something. So they go into all-out child protection mode.

Like when someone cuts the line for Whack-a-Mole, for example.

“It’s part of protective parenting,” Frank Farley told the Journal. The Temple University psychologist added, “it is part of the species—all species, in fact…we do it all the time.”

To Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company, CEC Entertainment, this is no laughing matter. Some of its 538 locations have decided to halt alcohol sales, for example. There’s at least one store that posts armed security guards and the Milwaukee store has a dress code that bans gang-style apparel, not to mention knives, screwdrivers and glass cutters.

It’s “like something out of a Quentin Tarantino film,” Milwaukee Alderman Tony Zielinski told the Journal.


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