Three separate brawls—one which left a person stabbed and another arrested—among under-aged crowds erupted in California Aug. 27, prompting heavy police responses near Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Riverside County’s Moreno Valley.
TorranceOfficers from the Torrance Police Department responded to calls at about 4 p.m. Sunday about a fight among a large group of juveniles at the Del Amo Mall located on the 3500 block of Carson Street in Torrance, according to CBS local news.
Police realized they needed help from neighboring stations “due to the size of the group” fighting “to contain and make the area safe again,” according to a Facebook post by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies from the Carson station of the sheriff’s department responded to assist, as well as officers from Gardena, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, and Los Angeles Police departments.
A witness reported gunfire during the brawl and an investigation is underway. No injuries, arrests, or damages to the mall have been reported, according to various news sources.
It is unclear how many people were involved in the incident.
Torrance police did not respond to a request for comment.
EmeryvilleMeanwhile, in Northern California, multiple gunshots were heard, one person was stabbed, and another was reportedly arrested by Emeryville Police after “civil unrest” erupted at the Bay Street Mall in Emeryville, a city located between Berkeley and Oakland, also Sunday.
A worker from a local business called police at around 4:30 p.m. Sunday to alert them of a group of about 50 young adults at the mall, on the 5600 block of Bay Street, who were “causing a disturbance,” according to an Emeryville police statement.
The incident seemed to be over after police escorted the juveniles out, but at around 5:15 p.m. nearby patrol officers noticed a crowd of 100 young adults arriving at the mall, and an additional 100 to 150 more showed up over the next 30 minutes, authorities said.
Police said a first of a series of brawls broke out at about 5:40 p.m. in the courtyard of the mall, which prompted them to call for assistance from neighboring law enforcement agencies.
After receiving a report of a single gunshot fired about 10 minutes later, according to police, they were unable to identify any victims or suspects.
However, at approximately 7 p.m. authorities received a call of someone wounded from a stabbing near Elm Drive, around 15 miles north of the mall, where responding officers found a juvenile victim, police said.
Aid was rendered by emergency medical responders and the victim was transported to a local hospital with “non-life-threatening injuries,” according to police.
No other injuries were reported.
Emeryville city officials told a local NBC news outlet that one arrest was made in connection with the fights.
Anyone with information about the Emeryville fights is encouraged to contact Emeryville police at (510) 593-3700 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moreno ValleyFinally, three fights broke out at the Moreno Valley Mall, also on Sunday, after crowds of juveniles were attracted by $4 movie tickets—a common deal across the United States on Aug. 27 deemed “National Cinema Day”—at the shopping center’s movie theater.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department was called to quell the situation and mall officials said they are looking at solutions to managing unaccompanied minors, including requiring them to wear lanyards with their name and contact information for authorities to contact their parents or guardians if bad behavior occurs, mall spokesperson Chelsey Ritchie wrote in a post to the Facebook group “Moreno Valley Matters.”
According to the social media post, the mall had increased security Sunday in anticipation of unaccompanied teenagers taking advantage of the movie deal. It is unclear how many people were involved in the fights.
“[M]all security is not a babysitting service and it is the responsibility of parents to raise their children to be respectful to others and to compose themselves accordingly when out in public,” Ms. Ritchie posted. “We are disappointed that such events transpired and would like to reiterate that all steps taken were deemed necessary to keep our patrons safe.”
Mall owners said they are attempting to bring the shopping center to a “first-class” status and are working to prevent further incidents that threaten that progress.
“We would like to extend our sincerest apologies to our tenants and our local families who were caught up in this child’s play while trying to enjoy our mall,” Ms. Ritchie posted.
The mall was shut down for the remainder of the day on Sunday due to the fights.
There were no weapons involved in the incidents, according to authorities.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department did not respond to a request for comment.
Fights at common areas for social gatherings, such as theme parks and malls have risen recently, causing many stores and parks, such as some Target locations and Knott’s Berry Farm to require minors to be accompanied by an adult.