Mall fights send post-hol­i­day shop­pers scram­bling for ex­its

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Fights broke out at malls around the coun­try Mon­day night send­ing shop­pers, who were look­ing for post-hol­i­day deals, scram­bling for the ex­its. No one was se­ri­ously in­jured in the mall melees, which, dur­ing the panic, also prompted nu­mer­ous false re­ports of gun­fire.

Po­lice in Ohio told Cleve­ that of­fi­cers used pep­per spray to dis­perse a large crowd fol­low­ing a fight at an up­scale shop­ping mall in Beach­wood, just out­side of Cleve­land. A re­port of shots fired was later de­ter­mined to be un­founded. One male ju­ve­nile was ar­rested for al­legedly try­ing to hit an of­fi­cer dur­ing the in­ci­dent, which po­lice said ap­peared to have been “loosely or­ga­nized on social media.”

There were sim­i­lar dis­tur­bances at malls around the coun­try in­clud­ing in New York, New Jersey and North Carolina, where chaos erupted at a mall in Fayet­teville and emer­gency med­i­cal per­son­nel were called in to as­sist some­one who had a med­i­cal episode while flee­ing. In Mem­phis, Ten­nessee, po­lice ar­rested sev­eral peo­ple fol­low­ing fights at two malls there. No one was in­jured and no gun­shots were fired, de­spite re­ports in­di­cat­ing oth­er­wise.

“Some­body yelled ‘gun!’ and youths stam­peded through the mall,” Deputy Chief Terry Lan­drum told The Com­mer­cial Ap­peal. Po­lice in Aurora, Colorado, near Denver, evac­u­ated a mall due to mul­ti­ple skir­mishes. In Aurora, Illi­nois, out­side of Chicago, a mall there was tem­po­rar­ily shut down due to a large dis­tur­bance. Videos posted on Twit­ter showed mall se­cu­rity try­ing to get the sit­u­a­tion un­der con­trol. There was no of­fi­cial word on whether any of the fights, which were also re­ported in Ari­zona, Texas, In­di­ana and Con­necti­cut, were con­nected. —AP

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