AURORA, Ill. -- The Fox Valley Mall was closed Monday night, as authorities tried to figure out what started a brawl involving dozens of people, as similar rumbles were reported at malls across the country.
A large scale "disturbance" shut down the Fox Valley Mall on the busy post-Christmas shopping day, mall security confirmed. Witnesses say the mall seemed exceptionally crowded, and there had been talk of a rumble between groups of teenage boys. It’s unclear what started the fight, but witnesses said it began at about 7:30 p.m.
“We were in the food court, and all you hear is people saying, ‘oh there’s a fight going on," said witness Desiree Dadson. “All you see is people fighting, cops coming, and handcuffed and kicked and then they stopped it.”
“It was big brawl, it was groups of people fighting.” said witness Mia Alvarez. "I saw security get scratched and a police got slapped in the face, it was all bad.”
Videos posted to Twitter show mall security intervening in skirmishes between people on multiple levels at the mall:
for any of u thirsty for the fox valley mall tea (plus megan posing with the endless line of cop cars outside😂) pic.twitter.com/9EuIAI6B6u
— s̩̍a̩̍m̩̍ (@SomeTallPerson) December 27, 2016
Fox Valley Mall wildin pic.twitter.com/UU7p0Qq7Gs
— Velma (@BFitman) December 27, 2016
The mall was evacuated and closed 90 minutes early as confused customers escaped a chaotic situation.
“There was a big stampede and me and my friends just took off running," said witness Laylah Zackery.
At least one mother says she’s not coming back after witnessing the fracas.
“I’m not sure we’ll be back to Fox Valley Mall anytime soon,” Latoya Ewing said.
Aurora police say at least seven juveniles were arrested and other people are being questioned. So far, Fox Valley Mall’s management team has not commented.
Videos posted to social media show skirmishes breaking out not just in that mall, but also in malls across the country. Police are looking into whether they were loosely organized on social media.
Video shows 'hundreds' of teens fighting in Connecticut mall
MANCHESTER, Conn. -- Fox 61 reports a huge fight broke out at the Shoppes at Buckland Hills in Manchester on Monday evening.
Manchester Police Captain Christopher Davis says several hundred teens were involved, and that several fights broke out. The mall was shut down shortly before 6 p.m. and cleared out in response. It was supposed to remain open until 9 p.m.
Warning: The video, shot by FOX 61 viewer John Drew, may not be appropriate for all audiences.
According to Davis, about eight to 10 teens started fighting around 5:30 p.m., and officers already at the mall broke out the fight. However, it was then learned that several hundred teens at various locations throughout the mall had started fighting at the same time.
"Because it was such a chaotic situation with hundreds of people inside the mall, a request for mutual aid assistance was put out to surrounding jurisdictions," Davis said; State Police, East Hartford Police, Vernon Police, South Windsor Police and Glastonbury Police all responded to assist.
Police say eight people were arrested during the fights, including teens and adults. One Manchester officer was assaulted while trying to break up the first fight, but his injuries weren't significant and didn't require medical attention. Davis said no weapons were used in the fights, and they don't appear to be gang related. Police are investigating with mall management to try and identify more of those involved.
About two hours later around 8 p.m., Farmington Police told FOX 61 a fight broke out in the lower-level center court at Westfarms Mall in West Hartford, CT. About 20 to 30 teens were involved in that incident, but when security got involved the kids started backing off the fight, though they did keep yelling at each other. Police responded, but did not have further information. It's not clear if the two were related.
Similar reports - mall evacuated in Aurora, Colorado
Police are evacuating the Town Center of Aurora in Colorado and closing the mall after a “large disturbance,” Fox 31 reports.
Police later described it as “multiple skirmishes inside of the mall.” No customers or officers were hurt, according to Aurora police.
One witness tweeted a video showing police officers holding at least two women face-down on the ground. One of them can be heard screaming.
“Public is asked to avoid the area unless you need to pickup a family member,” police tweeted at 5:25 p.m.
Officers said they were working to clear out the parking lots at about 5:35 p.m.
Denver police were called in to help Aurora officers.
Streets around the mall were blocked by police vehicles at about 6:50 p.m.
Fayetville, North Carolina mall evacuated after fight (via AP)
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A North Carolina mall has been evacuated after a fight sent a crowd of after-Christmas shoppers fleeing.
Fayetteville Police Lt. Todd Joyce says police were called to Cross Creek Mall around 5 p.m. Monday because of a disturbance. He says some teenagers were apparently involved in a fight at the mall.
He said officers found no one injured from the altercation. He says there's no evidence shots were fired, even though some witnesses thought they heard a gunshot. Witnesses tell media outlets that there was chaos as hundreds tried to flee the mall
Joyce says no arrests have been made, but police are reviewing mall security video to see if charges are warranted.
He says emergency medical personnel were called to assist someone who had a medical episode while fleeing.