More than 10 brawls and disturbances in malls from Arizona to North Carolina shut down malls and sent shoppers scrambling on Monday. At a Connecticut area mall police, some from neighboring areas, took 7 into custody while the fighting crowd made up of 100 teens was broken up. Beachwood Place mall in Cleveland was locked down and one arrest was made for disorderly conduct as the crowd was controlled and dispersed. Capt. Gary Haba of the Beachwood Police Department believes this has to do with teens having free time during the holiday break and nothing productive to do with their time.
A Mall in a Denver suburb, Town Center, was the scene of several fights and a crowd of over 500 people who showed up after seeing a post on social media. Spokesman for the Aurora Police Department Sgt. Chris Amsler says, “We haven’t actually seen the post. We don’t know whether that’s true-whether it exists or not.” 5 arrests were made. Fox Valley Mall near Chicago had several brawls, events caught on camera that evening. The mall was evacuated and 7 were arrested.
Fort Worth Police were called to Hulen Mall with reports of 200 teenagers running around and fighting. Store owners slammed their gates to protect their goods and customers inside. This played out in other states including New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Tennessee who also reported incidents at area malls.
Police Departments in all states involved are investigating through social media posts that seemingly prompted these fights. Social media has been blamed for causing the phenomenon known as “fight compilations” and other fight videos. Bystanders pull out their cell phone and begin to record brawls and those are clipped together in a loop. Spectators are encouraged to come out and are given a location and time. Whether this is what led to these occurrences is still under investigation. Videos from many of these events were posted throughout the night to social media.