A curfew sweep on the Plaza angers parents

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A curfew sweep on the Country Club Plaza Saturday night angered parents who dropped off their teenagers for a late evening show.

Abby Blake and Natalie Hickey watched "Monsters University" at the Cinemark Palace theater on the Plaza Saturday night, before being taken into custody by security guards and uniformed police officers.

"She goes, 'You know that you are in violation of the city ordinance,' and she goes, 'You're breaking curfew,' and I didn't even know there was a curfew," Natalie Hickey said.

Abby's mom, Deena Blake, was driving around, waiting for the girls to get out of the movie when she got a phone call from Abby, who said they were being taken away by police.

"The whole time I have no idea who has them. Is it really police?" Deena Blake said.

The girls said Highwoods Properties security guards and Kansas City Police officers escorted them across the street and around corner to the security office, where they were put in a holding area. Highwoods owns the Plaza.

The girls said they were searched by police.

"They had no reason to search them," Deena Blake said. "Why would they have weapons at a movie theater?"

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Kansas City Police spokesman Captain Tye Grant said off-duty officers "working for Plaza security issued seven curfew violations" Saturday night.

"Attention was drawn to the juveniles after a fight broke out in the theatre and the youth began throwing large firecrackers outside on the street/sidewalk," Grant added, in an email to 41 Action News.

David Hickey is Natalie's father. He didn't know that city had changed its summer curfew to 9 p.m. Following this ordeal, he researched the ordinance and found section 50-237, which contains this exception: "When any person under 18 years of age is returning directly home from a school activity, entertainment, recreational activities or dance."

In light of that, David Hickey believes the girls did not violate curfew.

"The law wasn't enforced right," he said. "They were there waiting for their parents. To me, that qualifies as returning directly home."

Both parents received citations to appear in court on Aug. 16. They face a $500 fine.

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