This is the shocking moment a group of festive shoppers were caught fighting in the middle of CHRISTMAS TREES after a mass brawl broke out at a German market.
Six men were involved in the “violent disturbance” which erupted in front of hundreds of horrified onlookers at around 1pm yesterday (Wed).
The brawl broke out at the German market in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., as shoppers snapped up last-minute gifts in the run-up to Christmas.
Mobile phone footage captured one yob running from a shop before being wrestled to the ground by a member of the public and a police officer at a flower stall.
The man, who was wearing a blue, black and white jacket, cream trousers and a black hat, can then be seen kicking a Christmas tree in the dramatic 47-sec clip.
“One of the guy’s tracksuits was all muddy and I think the fight was going on for about 40 minutes before the police arrived.
“There were children crying and it was really horrifying.
“It’s supposed to be a nice time of year. The kids are off school and people are finishing work and everyone is feeling Christmassy.
“It’s not the first time I’ve seen this happen here. It’s happened countless times.
“It’s been a complete disaster for everyone involved.
“Everyone is at least half down on their money from last year.
“I think we’ll all be glad when it’s over on Christmas Eve.”
Eyewitness Gary Dawson, 45, a lorry driver from Hanley, added: “It was absolute carnage. People were shouting and others were looking on in shock.
“I heard a couple of kids crying because they didn’t know what was going on.”
Jackie Owen, 68, a retired nurse from Leek, Staffs., said: “I didn’t know what to do. I don’t think anyone did.
“You go to the German market to get yourself in the festive spirit and to browse all the stalls.
“Never in a million years do you think you’ll see a fight right in the middle of it all.
“I think it really put a downer on everyone’s day. It’s disgusting behaviour.”
The chaos also sparked outrage on social media, with Paula Lesley Hulme commenting: “What are you like kicking off in town at Christmas and upsetting the kids – you spoilt brats!
“Disgusting behaviour – have a word with yourselves and get a life!”
“All the kids off school and lots of families about and this happens…this is why families and many other people stay away from towns and cities nowadays.”
And Emma Parkinson added: “How disgusting!!! Kids walking past crying because of your actions!!! Absolutely appalling behaviour u want be ashamed of yourselves!!”
Staffordshire Police confirmed they were called to the fight and said two of the men involved had been arrested.
A spokesperson added: “We were called at around 1pm today to reports of a violent disturbance in and around Parliament Row.
“It appears about five or six men were involved and officers have now arrested two of them.
“One of the men was detained with the help of a member of the public.”
* The violent outbreak comes 24 hours after traders hit out at the running of this year’s festive market in Hanley, which opened on November 28th.
They claim a catalogue of issues have left some of them hundreds of pounds out of pocket as their takings have not covered the cost of renting pitches.
Other complaints relate to a lack of security with thieves stealing traders’ stock, homeless people begging near to the market and poor organisation.
Visitors also blasted the location of some of the pitches, as well as commenting on the lack of stalls compared with more popular events such as the Birmingham German market.