New age restrictions are in effect after a brawl at a Brooklyn mall during one of the busiest shopping days of the year. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.
A scene captured by someone's cellphone camera at Kings Plaza Mall in Brooklyn on Thursday has some shoppers feeling uneasy.
"I was really frightened because I had my nephew with me, and all of a sudden, I came out of a store and I saw security escorting the children out," said one person.
Police said that there was a disorderly group at the mall, and witnesses told NY1 that dozens of teens got rowdy.
Although there were no arrests, the mall shut down early, forcing customers in the middle of their post-Christmas shopping to cut their trip short.
Now, Kings Plaza has instituted a new rule: no one under 18 is allowed in without an adult.
"I think it's a good policy," said one person. "It keeps everybody under control, so when the kids come here, they know somebody watch them. They'll act like they have some sense and behave instead of acting like a mob."
There are rumors that the incident was coordinated over social media. It has been referred to as a flash mob.
It's a trend that young people say is common, but not here. They think that the new restriction is unfair.
"It's not fair because there are a lot of people who just go in to buy things," said one person. "You can't assume that every time that someone's going to Kings Plaza, they're going to go fight, go in a big riot and fight. You can't assume that all the time."
"We get holiday money and want to come and spend it, especially in a big mall like Kings Plaza, so it's really unfair that because of the actions of a few undisciplined teenagers, that all teenagers can't be allowed into the mall now," said another.
People who live in the neighborhood agreed that the melee appears to have been an isolated event and attributed it to holiday break boredom.
"I think you have kids, it's cold outside, they want a place to go, they have nowhere to go, and we need some type of community program that kids have a place to go to," said one person.
Kings Plaza has not said if they plan on making the new age restriction permanent.
NY1 has seen a couple of young people or people who look under 18 enter the mall unquestioned. Some even told NY1 that while they were inside, they were not approached by anyone from the mall.