New York News
Brooklyn residents join together to stop mall violence after teens run wild at Kings Plaza
MARINE PARK (WABC) -- On Sunday night, the Kings Plaza Shopping Center said teens are now welcome again at the mall without an adult.
Mall security had originally banned teens from going to the mall alone after a wild brawl was caught on camera.
Earlier in the day, people who lived near the shopping center joined together in a call to stop the bad behavior in the wake of the teens caught brawling on camera.
Brooklyn residents say this is not the first time violence like this has happened. Neighbors say they saw a confrontation 8 hours before cell phone video showed dozens of teens running wild as police worked to break up the chaos.
"They were pushing and shoving," said Brooklyn resident Dawn Henry, "the cops responded, the next thing I saw was an ambulance."
There were no issues reported on Sunday with plenty of police outside.
Community Activist Tony Herbert says the violence is not just a problem at Kings Plaza.
"These kinds of acts cannot be allowed in our community, someone has to be punished so this doesn't happen," Herbert added.
Security officers at the mall checked IDs, and did not let anyone under the age of 18 in without a permit. Workers say the mall needs to increase security permanently.
Shoppers said everything was peaceful throughout the weekend, and there were a lot of extra security officers.
"One security guy asked us how old we were, and said we had to leave, but then others ignored it, paid us no mind," said 18-year-old shopper Julia Peklushenko.
The cell phone video shows cops trying to break up the melee, at one point we see an officer take down a girl.
"Nothing but kids. Dangerous if you had bags, all they were doing was taking it and running," said Tyshanda Watson, a Victoria's Secret employee.
Tyshanda Watson was working at the Victoria's Secret where employees quickly pulled down the store's gate to protect everyone inside from the out of control teens.
"They were scared, cops everywhere, they pushed people, there was a lot of people," Watson said.
Sources say the incident may have been sparked by a girl wearing a shirt with a picture and derogatory comment about another girl.
The problem then escalated on social media with the girls agreeing to meet up at the mall.
"They just started fighting, throwing stuff off balconies," said Lequan Jackson, a Macy's employee, "I was just like I hope they don't come to my store."
Lequan Jackson works at Macy's and watched as security guards quickly notified police.
But it took several hours to clear out the mall and restore order.
"Security is here for today, by next week they won't be there. It's not an upscale place, they won't be here," Watson said.
The mall was busy with holiday shoppers, some of course frightened by the crowd of out of control teens.
One girl was taken into custody after the scuffle but no arrests were made.
No one was injured and there were no reports of serious property damage.
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