FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) — Fort Collins police are investigating what’s being called a “fight club.”
Teens have been organizing fights at city parks, according to police. Officers said, thankfully, fight club members have already violated rule No. 1: Don’t talk.
“I’ve been working in the area for the last 20 years, and this is the first that I’m aware of [a teenage fight club] actually happening,” said Fort Collins Police Services Assistant Chief John Feyen.
So far, police are learning the clubs usually involve teenagers getting into fights while others watch. The meetup details are usually shared through social media like Snapchat, according to police.
Two incidents at parks are under investigation. One occurred at end of August. Another incident occurred in the middle of September.
“We really don’t want somebody to get hurt and have a consequence that’s going to last them the rest of their life,” Feyen said.
Police learned of one fight event at Rolland Moore Park after the fact, but they were called to a fight in progress at Lee Martinez Park, where about 20 teens were gathered, police said.
One teen was arrested for minor in possession of alcohol at Lee Martinez Park. But Feyen said no arrests were made for assault or fighting because the teens would not admit to fighting during police interviews.
Educators trying to get kids back on track after pandemic year
“It’s not a normal thing that we see in this community,” said Todd Forkner, an area high school teacher, who was exercising Wednesday at Lee Martinez Park. “I think that what you’re seeing is a reaction to the last year— kids being out of school.”
Forkner has seen firsthand the stress caused by the pandemic in teens.
“In my students, I see a lot of kids that are suffering from anxiety,” he said. “There are kids that are having panic attacks.”
Forkner said educators are trying to get kids back on the right track.
Police want the teens who are part of the fight club — or who know about it — to tell a parent or a teacher, or to submit an anonymous tip to Safe2Tell to anonymously report any safety concerns or fight clubs.
While there has been chatter on social media, officers don’t know why the fight club was formed. There have not been reports of serious injury.
Police will be increasing patrols near city parks and encourage residents to call the police non-emergency line (970-419-FCPD) to report suspicious activity or call 911 for active situations.