Police disperse crowd of students at Braum's near Jenks school
BY ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer
Friday, May 25, 2012
5/25/12 at 5:01 PM
Tulsa police broke up a crowd of more than 200 students Thursday afternoon at a restaurant near Jenks Middle School after citing two for trespassing and arresting one child’s mother, police said.
The youths gathered in the parking lot of Braum’s at 2825 E. 101st St., about a block west of the school, after they were let out about 2:30 p.m. on the final day before the school's summer break, police said.
Two security guards working for the restaurant and a police officer who was in the area requested additional officers to help clear the students at the restaurant's request, Capt. Richard Alexander said.
As they waited, the police officer pulled over a woman who was driving an SUV about 40 mph in the parking lot as two young girls hung on the outside, police said. The driver, Brandy Marie Wilkinson, 35, is the mother of one of the children who was at the scene, Alexander said.
The officer intended to ticket her for reckless driving, but she threatened to leave and shouted obscenities, an arrest report says. She was booked into the Tulsa Jail on complaints of reckless driving and obstructing police and was released on $450 bail later Thursday.
The students gathered to watch as the woman was arrested about 2:55 p.m. but left without incident when additional officers arrived soon after, Alexander said.
Although the crowd’s size “was a concern at first” for the officer’s safety, the youths were never hostile, he said.
Police said the restaurant has a history of problems with large groups of students fighting and causing disturbances on its property.
The restaurant had specifically banned two of the children who assembled there Thursday, which is why they were ticketed for trespassing, Alexander said.
“Large crowds are not unusual for that area,” he said. “It’s something we’ve been dealing with throughout the area after the students are let out of school.
“We’ve been doing a good job of keeping the (Braum’s parking) lot clear, but in this case this was a very busy part of the afternoon and one officer couldn’t do it alone.”
Alexander said one officer estimated the crowd Thursday at about 100 students, but police said in a press release Friday that it was estimated at more than 200.
Alexander said he was unsure how that compared to the size of previous crowds.
Jenks Public Schools spokeswoman Bonnie Rogers said the district is aware of the problem but has worked with Braum’s for years “to create a situation where they can receive business in a controlled manner.”
While some businesses in the area have prohibited students from gathering on their property, Braum’s has chosen not to do so, company spokesman Terry Holden said. The restaurant instead hires security to ensure that students are safe and do not cause problems, he said.
Jenks Middle School Principal Rob Miller regularly makes announcements telling students to behave at the restaurant and asks parents to help convey the message, Rogers said.
“It’s a situation where we want to make sure our students are safe, but it is a situation where, once they leave our campus, they’re not really in our jurisdiction anymore,” she said.
She said most of the students at the restaurant Thursday were well-behaved and were visiting with friends or celebrating the last day of school.
Brandy Marie Wilkinson