7 teens arrested after multiple fights at Castleton Square Mall; mall violence reported nationwide

Castleton Mall fight update - noon
7 teens arrested after fights at Castleton Square Mall
Fights at Castleton Square Mall Sunrise update
Madness at Castleton Square Mall Sunrise update
Published:
Updated:

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Metro Police arrested seven teens after at least two fights broke out at Castleton Square Mall Monday night, as malls across the country reported similar issues.

Simon Property Group, which owns Castleton Square Mall, released the following statement:

"Safety is our first priority. When yesterday evening's fight involving unescorted youths broke out, members of our security team and off duty IMPD hired by the mall immediately intervened and stopped the activity. Arrests were then made and business returned to normal. Castleton Square Mall has a long-standing Code of Conduct that prohibits disruptive behavior, and that policy is strictly enforced. We want to thank IMPD's continued efforts to maintain a safe environment for our shoppers and employees."


Officers first went to the mall just after 8 p.m. when mall security and off-duty officers working inside the mall said teens were getting out of control. After arriving, they broke up at least two, possibly three large fights and called in the Event Response Group for additional crowd control help. Seven teens - six girls and one boy - were arrested and IMPD asked parents come and pick up all of the other kids.


Michael Ely works at the mall and saw the fights. He said the first broke out next to the Santa stand.

"Then I went on break and went to the food court and saw another fight outside of Dicks at the food court," Ely said. "We just heard screaming. There were dozens of kids running toward the fight, the center of the fight and then in the food court it was kind of the same thing and then there was a third fight actually that broke out a little later that everyone ran towards."

A witness told police she heard four shots fired into the air in the parking lot. Officers say they heard the shots, too, but no one was hurt and investigators say no shell casings were recovered.

The witness who claimed to have seen the gunman left the area before she could identify the suspect, according to police.

IMPD Commander Chris Bailey says the fights likely stemmed from a problem between friends, that escalated at the mall.

"Experience tells me these folks had some kind of beef outside the mall and decided to take care of whatever beef they had," Bailey said.

"13, 14, to maybe 18, no parental supervision," Ely said of how old the suspects were. "Just another day at the mall, unfortunately."

Simon Malls, which owns Castleton Square, issued the following statement regarding the incident:

"Safety is our first priority. When yesterday evening's fight involving unescorted youths broke out, members of our security team and off duty IMPD hired by the mall immediately intervened and stopped the activity. Arrests were then made and business returned to normal. Castleton Square Mall has a long-standing Code of Conduct that prohibits disruptive behavior, and that policy is strictly enforced. We want to thank IMPD's continued efforts to maintain a safe environment for our shoppers and employees."

There were similar reports of fights at malls across the country Monday.

There have been previous large fights among juveniles at Castleton Square Mall, the most recent just under two years ago in January 2015.

Investigators say the mall itself is safe and mall management does everything it can to keep people safe, but Bailey says parents need to take responsibility for their teens, too.

"Simon Mall, the store owners, and the Indianapolis Metro Police Department are not babysitters. We expect and hope that one, you're going to have children who are respectful of others and one another and the rules; and that maybe we should think these kids being more closely supervised by their parents."

After the fights were brought under control Monday night, shoppers told Eyewitness News that the mall wasn't letting juveniles under 18, possibly even those under 21, inside without being accompanied by a parent.

As a reminder, police ask that parents do not leave their children unattended at large events and plan to have a chaperone to help prevent such disturbances from breaking out.

Filed under: