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Temple Students Attacked, Officer Thrown To Ground, Police Horse Punched In Assaults

(video credit: Temple University student)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Flash mob violence on the campus of Temple University left several people injured and a handful of juveniles arrested.

Authorities say a Temple officer and a police horse were also assaulted during the chaos.

Investigators say it began through social media with a message for a large group of teens to meet near the campus Friday night.

Police estimate that 200 teenagers were in the crowd at the movie theater at Broad and Oxford and then divided into smaller groups, attacking and robbing students.

In one attack, police say an 18-year-old girl suffered scrapes and cuts to her leg and her cell phone was smashed. Authorities say her debit card was also taken from her purse.

Police say two other victims had items taken during the assault including an iPhone, a wallet, a back pack and a bluetooth wireless speaker.

Authorities say while investigating the report of flash mobs, police observed 75 to 100 individuals on a corner.

As officers tried to disperse the crowd, police say a 16-year-old came up to the officer's horse and struck the horse twice in the face.

Officers apprehended the male a short distance later.

That same night a Temple Police officer was assaulted by a 15-year-old male who they observed throwing rocks at passing cars.

Police say the teen threw the Temple officer to the ground causing her to fall on top of her bike. Authorities say the teen ran off and was observed by another officer.

The teen was apprehended and charged with aggravated assault, propulsion of a missile, simple assault, resisting arrest and related offenses.

The officer suffered bruising and scraping to her knee.

Also on Friday night, police say three people were walking on Oxford Street when they were assaulted by a group of about 20 juveniles.

All of the victims were kicked, punched and knocked to the ground.

Authorities say the first victim had her iPhone taken.

A witness saw the assault and was able to identify the defendants to police.

Police say a 15 year old and a 17 year old were charged with aggravated assault, robbery, criminal conspiracy, theft, simple assault and related offenses.

A concerned parent says, "What is upsetting about this is that this was a flash mob of kids on bikes and on foot who were attacking students on campus."

Temple University put out an alert Friday night regarding the incidents saying: "Increased police activity due to large groups of juveniles along Broad Street on/near Main Campus. Police responding. Avoid area."

A Temple student tells Eyewitness News he and his girlfriend were also assaulted.

He says around 9:30 Friday night he was leaving work when he saw what looked to be at least 200 juveniles walking in large groups.

He said he overheard police saying the kids were playing the knockout game.

He says a juvenile around 10 years old started shouting obscenities at him and grabbed his phone out of his hand. The student says the juvenile then came back and threw the phone at him, striking him in the face.

Around 15 minutes later, the student says he was walking with his girlfriend when they were approached by at least seven juveniles. The student says he went to hit the Temple Police alert button when his girlfriend was struck by one of the juveniles.

As the student was chasing them away, he says he was struck in the face by a someone he estimates to be eight years old.

The student tells CBS3 he believes this type of activity happened both Thursday and Saturday night on campus.

Temple Police say they will continue to work together with Philadelphia police to have an increased presence, especially on weekends.

"We are also encouraging the campus community to heighten awareness and to use the following campus resources."

KYW Newsradio's Suzanne Monaghan contributed to this report.

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