Brutal Kroger parking lot attack caught on camera, Dir. Armstrong releases statement

(WMC) - A video of a group of teenagers beating a Kroger employee in the store parking lot is circulating on Facebook.

A Kroger employee tells WMC Action News 5 that the attack happened at the Kroger near Highland Street and Poplar Avenue.

According to police, three people were jumped by a large group of teenagers who were chanting "fam mob." The group, who came from CiCi's Pizza, reportedly attacked a 25-year-old customer as he left his car to enter Kroger.

Two employees, ages 17 and 18, were attacked while trying to stop the fight. Both were "struck several times in the head and face while being knocked to the ground". The victims say large pumpkins were thrown at their heads. They both were eventually knocked unconscious.

The victims were treated on the scene for their injuries. All three refused to be taken to the hospital. The 17-year-old victim's father said his son is OK and is at home.

The Kroger manager told police the store's surveillance video can only be accessed by "loss prevention" on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Memphis Police Department Director Toney Armstrong released the following statement:

"We are fully aware of the last night's incidents.  It is extremely troubling to see how many young people were involved, especially on the heels of last week's youth forum.  A lot of our citizens are working to provide safe and productive alternatives for our youth.  For those that choose not to take advantage of these opportunities, we will work tirelessly to identify, locate and hold you accountable.  Last night's events clearly demonstrates a lack of parental controls and if warranted these parents will also be held accountable."

According to MPD, investigators with Tillman Station's GIB are working to identify the people responsible for this crime.

"We have received several statements from those who were involved. We are checking surrounding locations for available footage and we will continue to follow up on all leads," said Sgt. Karen Rudolph.

On Sunday afternoon, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and other city leaders held a news conference to respond to what happened and send a message to the parents of the group of young men responsible for the crime.

"We will be meeting this week and I think in the days to come we are going to sit down and try to craft a plan where we can hold parents for your kids actions especially in those incidents where we can prove that you were fully aware of your kids actions but chose not to step in," said Armstrong. 

Police want to know whether anyone else was approached, harassed, or injured by the teenagers. Anyone with information concerning this incident contact the Tillman Station GIB at 636-3214 or Crime Stoppers at 528-CASH.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.