Present Day – Two months after grand opening
“All right, everyone, settle down!” The police chief lowered the bullhorn, shaking his head, his disgust quite evident after witnessing the aftermath of the fighting and the brutal assaults that had just transpired. A bloodied mob of pre-teens and teenagers surrounded by a substantial litter of beer cans and trash stood before him. The police had handcuffed a few, but most were not. The kids got quieter as their fear of what would happen next increased. They mostly hung their heads in shame; some of them were even crying.
“For those of you not handcuffed, your parents have been contacted, and they are on their way to retrieve you. You should be ashamed of yourselves. We may need to follow up with you later about what happened here tonight. Troopers, please take the handcuffed kids to the station for booking – public intoxication, disorderly conduct, minors in possession of alcohol. And for those found with firearms or knives, log them and tack on a weapons charge too. Then contact their parents.”
Police Chief Adams had a formidable reputation. He didn’t put up with shenanigans very lightly, and he was tough on kids who acted out of line. There was only a small police presence in Cherrywood, but they were vigilant in keeping their town a safe and orderly place. Tonight’s events were not something that Cherrywood was accustomed to experiencing. But no matter, Police Chief Adams got it under control. Much like this land’s predecessors, the community was tight-knit and adhered to many social standards, kids behaving themselves being one of them.
“Stephens, if any of them look to be injured severely, tell the parents they should take them to the ER first. And check on those in our custody. I don’t want some kid to die in our holding cells. Got it?” Adams looked Stephens sharply in the eye to make sure he understood.
“Yes, sir.” He walked towards the other police officers to share what Adams had just instructed him regarding any injuries.
One by one, the teenager’s parents picked up their children—the mothers and fathers in shock as well as angry as they ushered them into their vehicles. Many parents could be heard saying, “What were you thinking?”
Yes, Police Chief Adams was asking the same thing. He also wondered what would make the town’s children behave in a way they’d never acted like before. Sure they had a few minor incidents over the years, but that was normal kid’s stuff. Tonight was behavior like something you’d see in big, metropolitan cities where street gangs were the norm. Cherrywood was a quiet community with loving people; this was not normal. He was at a loss to understand how this had all started. But he would get to the bottom of it.
TO BE CONTINUED ON THURSDAY…