Police concerned over weekly crowds of teens in Chesterfield Val - KMOV.com

Police concerned over weekly crowds of teens in Chesterfield Valley

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By Brendan Marks By Brendan Marks

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. (KMOV) -- There is a growing concern for public safety where large crowds of teenagers gather at a fast food restaurant in Chesterfield Valley.

According to police, as many as 500 teenagers have gathered at the Sonic on Chesterfield Airport Road on Thursday nights forcing authorities to cite some of the teens for peace disturbance, speeding on nearby roads and fighting.

Video posted to YouTube nearly a year ago shows the crowd spilling over into the parking lot of Lowe's across the street.  The property owner, THF Realty, wants to break up the crowd of teens but states Sonic has allowed them to gather though they are not customers.

Chesterfield Police has issued undercover officers to the area, but state it does not have the staff to handle the crowd.

"When it becomes an issue of crowds this large and this many people from all over the place you're not sure what their motives are," Capt. Steve Lewis said.  "We're lucky to date that nothing has happened.  We're doing everything we can as a police deptartment.  We need the help of the community, of parents to tell their kids 'this is not where I want you to be.'"

Chesterfield Police tell News 4 they understand that teens want a place to hang out but they fear someone eventually could get hurt.

Sonic officials issued the following statement regarding the matter:

“The drive-in’s operators are aware of the sizable group of individuals visiting the drive-in on Thursday evenings, some of whom park in nearby adjacent lots not owned by SONIC. SONIC does not condone or promote the use of nearby separately-owned parking lots by its customers.  The group, to the best of SONIC’s knowledge, is not involved in any questionable activity while on SONIC property and has not been deemed a concern to the safety of our customers, an utmost priority of ours. SONIC will continue to be in touch with local authorities to ensure a disturbance-free environment.”

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