Putt-putt facility makes changes to policy after customers cause chaos

Updated: Jul. 27, 2020 at 10:05 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It happened Saturday night at Golf and Games Family Park off Summer Avenue in East Memphis. The video on Facebook showing some customers throwing items at employees has made it around the country including on sites like TMZ. We talked with the general manager who said it was frightening.

“It was completely terrifying. We grabbed as many of the hourly employees we had behind the counter, a manager took them down in the basement, grabbed a golf club and kind of kept guard on the stairs,” said Aaron Bos, General Manager at Putt-Putt Golf and Games.

Bos was behind the counter when a few customers started throwing things at employees. He says things started spiraling out of control when around 300 teens were dropped off at the business Saturday night.

Bos says he was at the door trying to make sure customers were wearing masks and social distancing per a health department mandate -- only 50% capacity in the building.

”It was obvious very quickly the crowd that was here was not practicing social distancing and we realized the outside crowd was unsustainable,” he said.

The park is 40 acres with go-carts and miniature golf and other games outside.

”My outside manager then called and said you know we’ve had a couple fights break out and we’re going to suspend the go-cart track,” said Bos.

Bos says at that point it was clear things were out of control so he shut the place down letting the crowd know.

He says the two females seen throwing things were angry because they wanted a refund. He said things got so crazy he couldn’t issue any refunds.

”Once It was out of control, then we just had to clear the building for the safety of my staff,” said Bos.

Memphis police say the scene became chaotic when someone threw fireworks into the crowd causing a stampede outside and a 13-year-old boy was given a juvenile summons after throwing a potted plant at a car.

Considering the large crowd, most of the customers did not act out. But police are looking for the people seen in the video throwing items.

”We’re actively engaged in trying to identify the people that started it. We’ll work with police to hold them accountable for their actions,” said Bos.

The business has shut down everything but miniature golf and the golf driving range through Tuesday and the business will close at 6 p.m. this week. A new policy has come from the chaos: minors must be accompanied by adults.

At this point, no one has been charged for the inside vandalism.

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