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Despite warning from Amherst, violence breaks out at Chuck E. Cheese's

A 17-year-old employee at the Chuck E. Cheese's in Amherst, which in recent months has drawn scrutiny for disputes turned violent, was taken to Oishei Children's Hospital after she was assaulted at work Saturday afternoon, according to police radio transmissions.

Amherst police responded to the restaurant just after 1 p.m. after two women employees had a "physical altercation" there. One of the women was fired by Chuck E. Cheese, police said.

However, the fired employee returned with two unidentified people and physically fought with the worker she had argued with, leaving the victim with bruises and abrasions to her face and head, police said.

Police said the three suspects drove away from the restaurant at Harlem Road and Sheridan Drive before officers arrived, and the investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Two people who were attending a child's birthday party there also told police the fight appeared to be an altercation between two employees.

Despite several previous fights and other incidents at the venue, the restaurant's game room license was renewed earlier this week, but the Amherst Town Board at the time raised concerns about security there and imposed a set of conditions on its operators. They were directed to hire another security guard, to make sure guards are prominently positioned inside and outside the restaurant, and to make sure the company puts in place its proposed safety improvements.

A top official with CEC Entertainment said earlier this week that the restaurant operator already has made a series of changes to improve security and the customer experience. Those include updated surveillance cameras, fewer birthday parties at any one time and prominent display of the customer code of conduct, said Chris Kelly, CEC's regional vice president.

"We pride ourselves on being a safe place for family and fun," Kelly said at Monday's work session. "We will continue to make the necessary strides to ensure the Amherst restaurant remains a place where a kid can be a kid."

But town board members said Chuck E. Cheese's officials have made similar assurances in the past and the venue continues to generate problems. They indicated they would not accept another serious incident at the facility.

In February, a Buffalo woman who was slashed in the face with a box cutter outside the Chuck E. Cheese's sued town police for improperly responding to a fight in the restaurant that preceded the violent confrontation in the parking lot. Then in April, a heated argument at the restaurant's Amherst location on Harlem Road escalated into a physical melee involving about a half-dozen young adults. Video of the brawl was captured on a cellphone and posted to social media, where it quickly went viral.

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