Who could have foreseen that a hip-hop boy band’s appearance at a Chicago mall would occasion rioting and looting? More:
The band’s autograph signing drew approximately 1,000 parents and children, primarily mothers and girls between the ages of 6 and 13, Sarama said.
About 45 minutes after the band left, the chaos began, Sarama said.
“A group of older youths came into the mall with the intent of causing havoc and chaos and were running through the mall, screaming, yelling and so forth,” he said.
Security staff contacted the police department, and mall officials closed the mall about 5 p.m., Sarama said.
The mall did not sustain any property damage apart from a single broken planter, and it will reopen at 11 a.m. Sunday as usual, Sarama said.
In the meantime, mall officials are at a loss as they try to understand what happened.
“Ford City is a family-oriented mall,” he said. “We have not had an incident like this [in the past], and I’m still in a little bit of a state of shock actually.
“What would make these youths come here to try and cause this kind of commotion and trouble?” he continued. “I don’t know. But they did have a plan in mind.”
“More than 100 people, mostly teenagers, started rioting and looting. They were throwing food, breaking things… more than 50 squad cars responded. They had the mall on lock down and then they gradually evacuated the mall with help of mall security,” WGN 9 reported.
Even after the mall was evacuated, rioting continued, with some teens jumping on cars and smashing a windshield on one woman’s car.
Fun with shopping! Memba the time…?