LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Is it still safe to take your family “where a kid can be a kid”?
A fatal shooting, a family brawl and even a hit-and-run at Chuck E. Cheese restaurants in the Southland and across the nation are making parents second-guess where they decide to hold their child’s next birthday party.
The most recent melee was at a birthday party in Michigan that left a grandmother hospitalized and her son-in-law behind bars.
Robert and Steven Olchanski, ages 3 and 5, were celebrating their birthdays at a local Chuck E. Cheese in Southgate when another family’s party quickly spiraled out of control.
After requests to settle down were ignored, Carol Brown, the boys’ grandmother, asked the parents in the other party to quiet down. They complied and scolded the kids in their party.
But when Brown made a comment that was overheard by the neighboring party, a fight broke out.
“There was a lady on top of my mother, a bigger lady, 200 pounds, on top of my mom, one hand on her throat, and she was pulling back to come back and hit her,” said Steven Olschanski, Sr., the boys’ father.
“I just started getting blasted, I got hit on this side of the head, that side of the head,” said Brown.
The melee was so traumatic that it left the birthday boy making a vow never to return to the popular arcade and pizza parlor.
“I don’t wanna go to Chuck E. Cheese no more,” said Robert.
Steven Sr. was arrested for disorderly conduct for apparently trying to help his own mother.
There has been no comment from the other party involved in the brawl, which comes in the wake of a fight that ended with a man being shot and killed in the parking lot of a Walnut Park restaurant in May.
In September, a driver plowed his car into a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Sun Valley and fled the scene.