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Chaotic ‘Harlem Shake’ At Queens High School Leads To Arrest Of Student

Boy, 17, Allegedly Posted An Invite On Facebook To What Turned Into Mob Scene
Forest Hills High School (credit: CBS 2)

Forest Hills High School (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Harlem Shake flash mob has left a Queens teenager with a court date.

It’s the craze that swept the Internet and now has invaded local high schools, but one student was arrested after an online post turned into a near riot in the school hallways.

What happened at Forest Hills High School wasn’t what many intended.

“It was exciting for maybe like a minute, but when you can’t move and there’s no way out, it kind of gets scary,” sophomore Anis Rana told CBS 2’s Dick Brennan on Thursday.

Police said one student, 17-year old Arnis Mehmetaj, posted an invite on Facebook, but students poured into the school lobby at the worst possible time — during a change of classes.

“The amount of people together crowded into that area, it just turned into chaos,” said senior Philippe Beauvais.

“It was really tight and compact. I’m like a really small person, so I almost got trampled, it was terrible,” added junior Abigail Buena Ventura.

Witnesses said Mehmetaj began begging students to back down, but it was too late.

“He did try to stop it. You could see the emotions, the tears in his face,” Beauvais said.

School officials eventually dispersed the crowd.

But things didn’t end there. Witnesses said there were disturbances all day long and lunch time looked like a scene straight out of Animal House.

“There was a food fight in the cafeteria, that was period six, so it went through the day,” English teacher Amelia Arcamone Makinano said.

When police came and arrested Mehmetaj and charged him with disorderly conduct, students quickly posted “Free Arnis” pictures on the Internet.

“He’s a track star and from what I know he’s never had a problem with the deans. He’s a good kid,” senior Jonathan Piedro said.

The Department of Education would only say that several students at the school were disciplined.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

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