VIDEO: Cell phone video shows fights breaking out inside Castleton Square Mall Saturday

All was quiet Sunday morning.
Shots reported outside AMC at Castleton Square Mall; no injuries or arrests
Shots reported outside AMC at Castleton Square Mall; no injuries or arrests
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Updated:
Indianapolis Metro Police say security will remain at an increased level after Saturday night's disturbance at the Castleton Square Mall. So far, no arrests have been made.

IMPD Asst. Chief Lloyd Crowe joined Eyewitness News on Sunrise Sunday morning. He says IMPD was already aware of teenagers flocking to the mall and had stepped up security ahead of Saturday's incident.

The mall closed early after a fight broke out inside, reportedly involving hundreds of people. The mall and the AMC movie theater were evacuated.

"During this time of the year, we know kids are out of school; during holiday time we've had to increase patrols in the mall areas," said Crowe.

Police said they'd been monitoring social media and knew the "mall brawl" was a possibility at Castleton Square Saturday night, so they had extra off-duty officers already at the mall. When things got ugly, police were on scene quickly.

Asst. Chief Crowe says someone called in around 7:45 pm reporting a "disorderly crowd."

"The security that was working at the mall responded to that. Then we ended up sending additional IMPD officers to help control what was going on outside after the crowd dispersed from the mall," said Crowe.

Social media was a key factor in helping police determine the extent of Saturday's activity. Crowe said the young people who were at the mall Saturday night were coordinating their activities through social media.

"In this case we found out about this after we got there. In some instances we do kind of monitor social media to track activities and have a leg up and an advantage in responding to something that might occur," he said.

No injuries were reported, although witnesses told WTHR that several groups were getting into physical fights involving kicking. There were several conflicting reports of shots fired inside and outside the mall - something police could not find any evidence for.

"At this point we don't have any information about injuries or arrests in this case, but we will monitor the scene and monitor that area, and we will continue to work closely with Simon Malls to make sure that we work in conjunction to provide a safe and comfortable environment at the mall," said Crowe.

One of the city's initiatives is to provide "safe havens" for teens - a place for them to hang out with each other, out of harm's way. But a recent safe haven event had sparse attendance. Crowe says it's an opportunity to get the word out.

"This is definitely an opportunity to kind of listen to the young people in our community and we will continue to work with our faith-based community and other institutions in the community to establish more safe havens and work on that initiative," said Crowe.

"It is something that we need. We invite people who wanna be a part of mentoring to young people, to be a part of this effort to create safe and productive activities to contact the chief's office at 317-327-3282 to be a part of it," said Crowe.

This is not the first brawl at Castleton Square in recent years. Another fight broke out in October. Before that, five teens were arrested and two guns confiscated after a fight in March 2013 spilled into the parking lot of McDonalds. Months before that, a 17-year-old fired a gun into the air outside Circle Center Mall downtown.

The incident left many customers shaken.
 
Rebekah Tisdale wrote to WTHR that she was in the theater watching a movie when people ran in and said there'd been a shooting: 

"No one knew what was going on. We all got down on the floor and were hiding behind the seats. The fire sirens went off in the theater but no one knew what that meant. I was scared for my life based on what has happened in [Colorado] at the movies. Finally someone that worked at AMC came in and told us all to evacuate thru the emergency exit. When we did, we were in a back alley way with no one out there to tell us what to do. We were all scared and confused. We had no idea what to expect or if it was safe to walk to the front of the movies. It would have been nice to have some type of police support out there telling us what to do."

Violeta Solorzano says she was at the movies with her family. "I had the exact same scenario watching (Into the Woods). I'm happy those people came in to tell us about the shooting."

Jason M. Spinks says he works at the mall. Although police did not confirm shots fired, Spinks said the "shots were inside the mall. We heard them, then everyone went running and screaming by our store."

This is Simon Malls' code of conduct, as posted at Castleton Square Mall:

It is our desire to provide you with an enjoyable and delightful shopping experience. We ask all of our guests to conduct themselves in a respectful way in accordance with the Code of Conduct and all laws and local ordinances.

1. Wear appropriate clothing.

2. disruptive behavior is prohibited.

3. no weapons.

4. possession of open alcoholic beverages except in designated areas is prohibited.

5. no solicitation.

6. no pets (except service animals).

7. Engaging in non-commercial, expressive activity not sponsored by the center is prohibited.

8. Smoking except in designated areas is prohibited.

9. No loitering.

Despite the numerous signs, Rev. Charles Harrison says the message isn't sinking in to unruly teenagers.

"These kids are not going to pay attention to it; they're going to have these guns on them because for some, they believe the guns are protection for the kind of life that they're living in the streets," he said.

He, along with his Ten Point Coalition, have been working for years to teach troubled teens a better way.

"All they know is the street and many of role models that they have are negative role models that's leading them down the wrong path in life. We have to address the break up of the family. We have to make parents more accountable," he said.