By Tom Mustin
AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Police in Aurora have added additional patrols at the Town Center at Aurora after Monday night’s mall brawl shut down the shopping center.
The fights may have been sparked by posts on social media. There were 11 other major fights at malls across the country in what became a chaotic day after Christmas.
All was quiet Tuesday at the Town Center at Aurora mall.
“Ridiculous. I thought it was crazy,” said shopper Linda St. Peter.
The mall reopened with tight security after hundreds of juveniles converged at the Town Center Monday, forcing the building’s evacuation and closure.
Cellphone video showed the chaos after several fights broke out — allegedly spurred on by a Facebook post calling for an organized brawl.
“We believe that might have played a part in this large group showing up at the Town Center,” Aurora Police Sgt. Chris Amsler told CBS4’s Tom Mustin.
Logan Durham arrived at the mall Tuesday, planning to meet up with friends for safety.
“Multiple of my friends told me a fight went down here — ‘If you’re coming tomorrow just be alert,'” she said.
“Are you on alert?” asked Mustin.
“Yes, very,” she replied.
Amsler says it all began around 5 p.m. Monday when an officer tried to break up a fight between two female teenagers inside the food court. He quickly found himself surrounded by hundreds of angry teenagers.
“It grew to about the size of 500. We called in every available resource we had at that time working in the city,” said Amsler.
With help from the Denver Police Department and the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, five people were arrested — all juveniles.
“The youngest is 13 years old. The oldest 16,” said Amsler.
On Monday dozens of other fights broke out at malls across the country, allegedly fueled by social media. Amsler says the Aurora incident does not appear to be connected to the others. Either way, teenaged shopper Kian Weaver says enough is enough.
“It’s ridiculous. I think it’s crazy,” Weaver said.
Fights also broke out at the nearby RTD station and the Century 16 Theater in Aurora. As with the mall, there were no serious injuries reported and no damage to property.