For the third year in a row, multiple large scale fights broke out in malls across the state the day after Christmas. Police believe the fights were organized on social media.
The fights occurred at the Connecticut Post Mall in Milford, Westfarms in West Hartford and the Westfield Mall in Trumbull. None of those three malls had curfews in place requiring parent supervision of juveniles.
“You want to feel safe. You want your kids to feel safe. You don’t want to have to worry,” said Natalie Maturo.
Safety at local malls was at the top of mind for people upset by the recent fisticuffs.
“It’s not a place for fighting," said Jenna Cavallaro. "People come here with their families. They come here to shop obviously. It’s not a playground where these kids can act like that.”
The Connecticut Post Mall in Milford was shut-down Thursday evening due to fighting. The eight private officers on duty were quickly overwhelmed by the couple hundred teens fighting in the mall. Milford Police reported minor damage to the property. There were no reported injuries or arrests.
“We will review footage and see if there are any assaults or fights where we can recognize parties,” said Michael Devito of Milford Police.
The Post Mall issued a new policy as a result requiring anyone under the age of 18 to be accompanied by an adult from 1 pm to close this weekend. The mall says anyone 21 or younger should be prepared to show photo identification.
“It seems like it’s a planned event. It’s crazy. They’ve got a put a stop to this stuff,” said Kevin Boyd.
Westfarms mall in West Hartford also had reports of fights that caused a disturbance. The mall was not shutdown while officers got everything under control. One Juvenile was arrested as a result.
Westfarms mall announced they will not issue a curfew but have beefed up security for the weekend. They issued a statement in part saying, “If at any time a customer or group is in violation of either, or is disrupting the shopping and dining experience for any other customer, the individuals will be immediately removed by security or police, regardless of age.”
People FOX61 talked to say a curfew could be beneficial.
"It’s more about the safety of other people because if guys are running around getting in fights a kid could get hurt. That’s probably what we’re looking out for most," said Gabriel Lichtenstein.
Westfield of Trumbull also did not close after the fights. Seven arrests in total were made.
Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester and the Brass City Mall in Waterbury already require parent supervision of juveniles during the holiday season.