A Handy Guide To This Year’s Biggest Post-Christmas Mall Brawls

Image courtesy of 吉姆 Jim Hofman

All across the country, mall shoppers took Boxing Day way too literally this year, with high-profile skirmishes, arrests, and evacuations occurring at shopping centers in nearly a dozen states.

To help you sort through all those bruised and battered return receipts, here’s our rundown of the biggest post-Christmas mall brawls for 2016:

Tempe, AZ: Fights broke out in the food court and near the Legoland Discovery Center, and a loud noise caused mall-goers to panic, believing that shots had been fired. Shoppers ran for the exits, and police put the mall on lockdown. Two people were arrested, and police say that no shots were fired.

Aurora, CO: Hundreds of people gathered around one fight in the food court of the Town Center at Aurora on Monday afternoon, and police called in reinforcements from the local sheriff’s department and the city of Denver. One person sustained serious injuries, and another minor injuries. Five people, all minors, were arrested.

Manchester, CT: A fight involving “eight to ten” teen shoppers at the Buckland Hills Mall turned into multiple brawls including hundreds of teens, and the local cops called neighboring departments and the state police to help sort the situation out. Ultimately, seven people were arrested.

Aurora, IL: According to police, there were around 1,000 teens in the Fox Valley Mall on Monday, and an officer who was already inside requested some extra help even before any fights broke out.

No weapons or serious injuries were reported, but a cop was punched in the face, and police say that some kids threw beverage bottles from upper levels of the mall. Seven people were in police custody on Monday night, WGN reported.

“It was a lot of kids and a couple of scuffles and just for everyone’s safety it was best to get everyone moving along before one large incident occurred,” an officer told the Chicago Tribune.

Fayetteville, NC: Police say that a fight between a small number of teens in the food court “escalated.” Shoppers reported gunfire, but police have found no evidence of guns or of shots fired at the shopping center.

“It could have been chairs falling,” a police spokesman pointed out to the Fayetteville Observer. “In a building such as that, you get a lot of echo.”

Elizabeth, NJ: At The Mills at Jersey Gardens, a food court chair reportedly fell on the ground during a relatively small fight, making a loud noise that some shoppers mistook for a gunshot. One shopper described the scene as “mass hysteria,” with people “running and screaming.” Fewer than 10 people reported minor injuries. The mayor of Elizabeth took to Twitter to reassure the public that there was no shooting at the mall.

Syracuse, NY: Around a dozen customers brawled near an entrance at Destiny USA around 9:30 P.M., closing time for most stores in the mall. Police responded to the incident, and two people were taken into custody, but there were no injuries.

Beachwood, OH: Teens fought and there was a report to police of shots fired at Beachwood Place, and a large group of teens began fighting around 6:30 P.M. Cops used pepper spray to disperse the crowd. One person was arrested, and police said that the incident appeared to have been “loosely organized on social media.”

Monroeville, PA: Four minors were arrested at the Monroeville Mall on Monday evening. The mall wasn’t evacuated, but for the time being, people under age 18 must have someone over age 21 with them at all times while in the mall.

Memphis, TN: Separate incidents were reported at the Wolfchase Galleria and the Oak Court Mall. A spokesperson for the Galleria said that all that happened was some “loud teenagers” were asked to leave, but the Memphis police say that they responded to teens “causing a disturbance” and fighting in the mall. Witnesses said that the fight began in the food court.

Police say that multiple people made false reports of shots fired at the Oak Court Mall in the evening. There was an unrelated shooting in the parking lot of the same mall around lunchtime on Monday.

Fort Worth, TX: Police say that more than 100 teens were involved in a mass brawl at the Hulen Mall during the evening. Like other incidents, there were reports of at least one weapon and possible shots fired, but police haven’t actually confirmed this. At least four people involved in the brawl received citations from cops on the scene.

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