Temple University will increase the security presence around its main campus in North Philadelphia after four juveniles were arrested in connection with a series of wild and violent incidents Friday night against students, Temple police officers, and a police horse, officials said.
Brandon Lausch, a Temple spokesman, said that the university would as much as double the number of officers on patrol Halloween weekend, and that school officers would work closely with Philadelphia police to ensure student safety.
The response came after four youths, ranging in age from 14 to 17, were arrested in connection with wide-ranging attacks. More than 150 juveniles coordinated a "meet-up" on Instagram, massing on North Broad Street near the campus about 8 p.m. Friday, according to Temple security officials.
In one incident, police said, two students and another person were assaulted by about 20 juveniles. The trio were kicked, punched, and knocked to the ground. One of the students, Christina Lauletta, was hospitalized at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, according to her father.
Police on Thursday released surveillance video of the incident in the hopes of identifying some of the suspects.
"These sick animals held her down and kicked and stomped on her repeatedly," Joe Lauletta posted on Facebook, saying workers at a pizza shop intervened. "Every part of her body is badly bruised. It makes me cry just thinking about it."
In a brief interview Monday, Lauletta said his daughter, a sophomore, was recovering well and returned to campus Sunday night.
Two of the alleged offenders were identified, arrested, and face charges including aggravated assault, robbery, and criminal conspiracy.
Students were not the only ones involved in the violence. One 15-year-old, who police say was seen throwing rocks at passing cars, knocked an officer pursuing him on a bicycle to the ground. He later was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest, among other offenses.
In addition, police said, a 16-year-old approached a mounted officer and punched the police horse twice in the face. Police later arrested him and charged him with assaulting a police service animal.
Three other victims told police they were walking east in the 1700 block of Cecil B. Moore Avenue when a large group of juveniles began hitting and kicking them. One of the victims, an 18-year-old woman, sustained scrapes and cuts to her legs, and her cellphone was smashed. The others said the teens stole items including an iPhone and a Bluetooth speaker.
No arrests were made in that incident.
Police released no additional information about the suspects because of their ages.
Friday night, students were upset that Temple did not issue a "TU alert" about "large groups of juveniles along Broad Street" until almost two hours after the violence had begun.
Charles Leone, Temple's executive director of public safety, said he was taking steps to streamline the process so future alerts can go out faster when a large group of juveniles is reported.