Fights broke out Monday at malls across the country, at least one involving hundreds of people, according to local police and media reports — creating an unrelated but bizarre string of altercations in the span of a day.
Police in Aurora, Colorado, announced officials decided to close Town Center of Aurora early on Monday after an off-duty officer witnessed a fight taking place in the food court and was surrounded by an “unruly crowd” while making an arrest.
“As the officer was attempting to escort the arrestee to the Aurora Police Substation inside of the Town Center the crowd continued to advance on the officer and several other fights broke out,” authorities said in a news release. “A citywide call for help was aired over the radio and all available APD units responded to the center.”
The crowd eventually included an estimated 500 people, mostly teens, according to Aurora police.
Authorities arrested five people, all juveniles, but no one was seriously injured. Those arrested were not identified.
According to police, a social media post announcing a fight would occur at the mall sparked the confrontation.
In a separate incident at the Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, Illinois, security there closed the mall following a series of altercations, according to WLS. At one point a fight broke out in the food court with hundreds of people nearby, police said, according to WLS. No injuries were reported, and seven unidentified juveniles were arrested, the TV station reports.
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“I’m still a little shaken up,” one mall worker told WLS. “I’ve never seen that many people inside brawling like that.”
Several Twitter users appear to have shared videos of the scene.
Hulen Mall in Fort Worth, Texas, was put on lockdown after a series of fights Monday night, police said.
Police officer Tamara Valle said authorities were responding to a report of gunfire in the parking lot when a fight broke out in the food court, according to NBC DFW. A string of fights broke out involving as many as 150 people, Valle told the station.
Authorities said there were no serious injuries.
In Elizabeth, New Jersey, a fight sparked panic inside the Mills at Jersey Gardens after witnesses reported they heard a gunshot. The sound was actually a thrown chair and no shots were fired, Mayor J. Christian Bollwage said on Twitter.
Bollwage confirmed two children were injured during the altercation — an 8-year-old who had a cut finger and a 12-year-old with a leg injury.
Connecticut police responded to fights that broke out at The Shoppes at Buckland Hills mall in Manchester Monday night as well.
Police Capt. Chris Davis tweeted that “several fights broke out” causing the mall to be evacuated and closed. He confirmed several arrests were made but did not identify the suspects.
Davis said authorities were still trying to sort out what happened.
A mall in suburban Cleveland, Beachwood Place, was shut down after a fight broke out Monday night, police said. According to a news release, “the disturbance appears to have been loosely organized on social media” and “sizable groups of juveniles” were responsible.
Security and police worked to get the juveniles out of the shopping center, but one young male was arrested for attempting to strike an officer that was dealing with another disorderly patron, police said. The arrested juvenile was not identified.