Seven arrested as fight shuts down South Jersey mall
HAMILTON (Atlantic) — A fight involving a large group of teens at the Hamilton Mall led to the shopping center shutting down on Saturday night and seven people arrested.
Hamilton Police on Sunday said there had been several small altercations that were easily handled during the day on Saturday between groups of kids because of an "advertised fight on social media."
In the early evening groups began to gather around the mall with the largest group in the food court. As police moved in to remove the food court group they began to throw chairs, food and other things at officers, according to police, as the smaller groups began to fight among themselves.
Five teen males and 2 adults from Mays Landing, Amir Vaughn, 18, and Theron Parrish-Jordan, were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
A Hamilton police supervisor was injured during the incident.
Tammy Tozer was one of many who posted their experience on social media. The Cape May Court House woman told New Jersey 101.5 that she was shopping with her two children around 7 p.m. when she heard a commotion on the upper level of the mall on the Black Horse Pike in the Mays Landing section of town.
Tozer estimated there were 175-200 people involved.
"It just got really loud upstairs all of a sudden. Kids running up both sides of the escalators. Kids were coming down from upstairs covering their eyes because the police used pepper spray. Then it seemed to calm down, kids were leaving. Then all sudden round two started. It was crazy. Teenage boys pushing older adults who were coming down the escalator out of the way to get back upstairs,” Tozer said. “At that point we made the decision to leave. They closed the mall down. It’s crazy you can’t even go to the mall for a casual family night because of this stupid stuff happening,"
Video taken outside the mall show a large police presence of local and State Police.
State Police spokesman Sgt Lawrence Peele said the Field Operations personnel responded to the mall to assist Hamilton Township Police with a "large disorderly group."
Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Egg Harbor City Police Department, Galloway Twp. Police, the Twp. of Hamilton Rescue Squad, and AtlantiCare Paramedics all responded to the incident.
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Witness John Snyder told the news site BreakingAC that "kids where running from everywhere. Stores were hurrying to close their doors"
"Every cage went down for every store and security guards were telling me that I was going in the wrong direction and they were visibly scared. Kept telling them I need to get to my daughter and friends," Christine Vint Miller wrote on her Facebook page.
The two story Hamilton Mall with over 100 stores opened in 1987 and is anchored by Sears, JC Penney and Macy's. A new Macy's Backstage store opened within the existing store on Saturday.