Mass KFC brawl: Knives, chairs, bits of wood

Police will review CCTV footage and visit schools after up to 100 students used knives, chairs and pieces of wood in a mass brawl that spilled from an Auckland street into a KFC restaurant.

Terrified staff locked themselves inside businesses on Massey Rd, Mangere, yesterday afternoon while others watched in horror as students suffered injuries bad enough to draw blood. Many filmed the violence on mobile phones.

Five people were arrested by police, who had to send 13 units to subdue the crowds shortly after 5pm yesterday.

Three youths and two adults had been arrested, police said.

A Mangere East KFC employee, who did not wish to be named, said about 30 students from what she believed to be two schools burst into the restaurant.

"It was a really big fight between school students. They came down to our store and started punching a guy.

"They just started smashing him.

"They just came in. They picked up chairs and everything."

She said the students were boys and girls, and looked to be under 16. Some appeared to be injured, and were bleeding and covering their faces with their hands.

A large police presence quickly swarmed the area, she said.

KFC management declined to comment last night.

"There were about 100 people there. Weapons used included knives, chairs and bits of wood," a police spokesman said.

He said CCTV would be reviewed, and "a number of" schools would be visited today.

It was not clear what the fight was over, he said.

Staff at Mangere East Library said they saw about 100 people gathered outside the KFC before the fighting broke out.

"There was a swarm of at least 50, it could've been 100 of them, and they were running up and down the road and then it all started," a staff member said.

The staff members, who wished to remain anonymous, said they could see some of the group had weapons.

They locked the doors of the library once they saw the commotion in order to protect customers.

"It was crazy. They arrested about 15 people. Some of them didn't look like they were even school kids."

Mangere East Community Centre director Roger Fowler said the fight was ugly and unfortunate, with a large group of young people watching on.

He said it was not as bad as many witnesses had described.

One school principal said he had not been contacted about the fight as of last night.

"We will be on to it first thing in the morning and will take it seriously," he said.

Appropriate disciplinary action would be taken if required, he said.

A spokesman from another school confirmed he had been informed about the fight.

"I can't comment at this stage because we are still unaware of the facts," he said. "We are going to ... get to the bottom of it."

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