A crowd of "unruly" school kids rushed into a downtown 7-Eleven store about 2 p.m. Wednesday for a free "Slurpee" promotion, and didn't leave until they'd caused a commotion — allegedly shoplifting and getting into a physical altercation with the store owner.
According to police, between 20 and 30 middle school students rushed into the store near the intersection of Light and East Pratt streets all at once for the special promotion of the frozen drinks, called "SlurpFREE Day."
The company said the event was to promote its new sugar-free version of the drink, and to "launch the upcoming Slurpee season."
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the youths, many of them in school uniforms, "became unruly" after entering the store and allegedly began shoplifting other items.
There was then some sort of physical altercation between some of the youths and the store owner, Guglielmi said.
The store owner "wasn't violently hurt," he said.
Police responded to the store after receiving a call for a common assault, he said.
Guglielmi said he did not believe there were any arrests made, and that he did not know which school the youths attended.
Margaret Chabris, a 7-Eleven spokeswoman, said in a statement that the disturbance associated with the promotion was "a rare and unfortunate event," and that most people around the country had fun with the promotion.