Amherst, NY - Amherst Town Board member Jacqualine Berger sums it up this way, "As a town board we're frustrated."
That's her reaction to the Saturday fight between two employees at the Chuck E. Cheese on Harlem Road. It came just days after a meeting between the Town Board and the chain's regional managers discussed increasing security.
Saturday's fight is the most recent in a series of incidents. They range from a fight in April caught on cellphone video to another incident in 2017 where a woman was injured with a box cutter in the parking lot.
Amherst Police would not do an interview, but deferred to town government. Department officials did tell 2 On Your Side, there were 192 times in the past five years when police were called to the Harlem Road commercial plaza where Chuck E. Cheese is located. And Assistant Chief Charles Cohen says the majority of those calls involved Chuck E. Cheese with larcenies and other incidents not caught on camera.
Councilwoman Berger says neighbors are not happy and the board is conferring with the town attorneys. She says board members pressed regional managers for the hiring of more security staff. She also cited the relatively young age of managers and staff at the restaurant. The state liquor authority controls the liquor license for beer and wine sales and the town is limited in what they can do.
2 On Your Side asked: "You do have one point of leverage on them right?
Berger responded: "The primary thing that we can do at this point is if we were to rescind their gaming license - that would only limit the arcade games and those types of activities. They would still be able to function as a restaurant."
A spokeswoman for Chuck E. Cheese only released a statement noting the instigator of the fight was fired and they are working with the community to boost safety.
Berger notes, "I hope they can come up with a plan that's gonna work. And they can get things under control that we're satisfied with.Or maybe they need to shut down for a while to do significant training and get their staffing in place properly."