A big fight broke out at the Altitude Trampoline Park in Gastonia over the weekend. Police estimated as many as 400 teenagers were inside when the fight broke out. Staff members tried to de-escalate the commotion by asking a group of teenagers to leave before the fight broke out. Altitude released a statement about the incident and their new policy going forward.
"This past Saturday night, an incident occurred at Altitude Trampoline Park between a few of our teenage guests. Some overly rambunctious teens came into to the park from a different venue nearby and it was quickly apparent that they had a concentrated effort to start trouble. Shortly after they arrived, our staff asked that they leave, but unfortunately the situation escalated, and fights broke out. The altercation was between the teen factions, no Altitude staff was involved. Our team followed company policy and immediately contacted the Gastonia Police Department, who quickly arrived on the scene and resolved the situation. An Altitude team member did unfortunately suffer minor injuries during the incident but is doing fine.
Across the country, many teen-friendly venues have been experiencing an uptick in aggressive behavior among older teenagers post-COVID reopening. To ensure our parks remain safe, fun and family-friendly, Altitude implemented the following proactive policy changes BEFORE the unfortunate incident Saturday night:
- Increased security from 1 to 2 paid off-duty police officers
- Changed weekend hours from closing at 11pm to 9pm
On this particular Saturday, the Gastonia Police Department had informed us they were unable to provide the 2 paid off-duty police offers for our park, but again, responded immediately once the incident began. Altitude Gastonia has a great relationship with the Gastonia Police Department and is very thankful for their quick response and help in deescalating the situation. Our facility, which is two floors and 32,000 square feet of space, was at 1/3 of normal capacity at the time of the incident.
In our continuing efforts to ensure guests’ safety and enjoyment, Altitude Gastonia will be switching Friday and Saturday nights to Family Fun Nights, designed to create a fun atmosphere for kids and parents to safely play. No older, unaccompanied teenagers will be allowed in the park during these times. Kids 13 and older will need to be accompanied by a PARENT, not just an adult.
“There are a lot of great kids in the area who need a place to play safely and have fun,” said Chris Taddonio, Director of Operations for Altitude Gastonia. “Altitude wants to be that place and 99.9% of our guests are great kids. We are a family-friendly park, and unfortunately a few bad apples can ruin that atmosphere on occasion, but our team will make every effort to not let that happen again. We will continue to welcome the community into our park and work even harder to ensure our facility remains a place for kids and parents to have safe and active fun.”