Hamilton Mall ‘riot': More teens charged, chief slams parents
HAMILTON (Atlantic) — More teens have been charged in the June 2 melee at Hamilton Mall, where groups of 200 teenagers brawled and then threw food and chairs at police.
Police on Friday charged two 15-year-old boys from Atlantic City and this township's Mays Landing section with disorderly conduct, participating in a riot, and criminal mischief.
Police also filed riot charges against the five teens and two adults arrested Saturday evening.
Police said they would continue to identify people involved in the violent chaos as Police Chief Stacy Tappeiner scolded parents for their children's antics, which resulted in a police supervisor being injured.
“The incident at the Hamilton Mall on June 2nd involving unsupervised teenagers was a situation that is unacceptable in our community. Law abiding store owners, store employees, families, and security personnel were all put at risk by teenagers engaged in criminal conduct," Tappeiner said Friday in a written statement.
"Each one of us, as parents and guardians, has a legal responsibility to know where our children are and what they are doing. Parents and guardians should not be dropping off their children unsupervised at retail shopping centers, nor should they allow children to take transit buses to shopping centers unsupervised."
Customers and employees reported on social media feeling scared. Some stores locked their doors or security gates.
A spokeswoman for the mall said store security would work with police to determine whether new policies are needed.
"We have a top-notch, fully staffed security team that is here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We also bring in two or three Township of Hamilton police officers here on Friday and Saturday for an added measure of security," Rodriguez said earlier this week.
The brawl at the mall followed another fight reported at Primrose Court, a housing development across the highway from the mall. Police said the fights were related.
Police ask anyone with information about the incident to call 609-625-2700 x 1.