INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – Another massive fight at Independence Center at Saturday prompted the mall to announce changes.
Effective immediately no one under 17 will be allowed on mall property Friday through Sunday after 3 p.m. without their parents or legal guardian.
Police say several hundred unaccompanied teens started multiple large fights Saturday evening about 5:30p.m. One of them happened near one of two kiosks Cameron Fleet owns in the mall.
“I don’t think they come to cause problems but when there’s just so many of them it’s just bound to happen honestly,” Fleet, the owner of Complete Care CBD and a Christmas specialty store selling socks, said.
It’s not the first incident like it at Independence Center. November of last year a big mall brawl damaged property and a police car. Teens took food off customer’s tables.
In October there was another fight reportedly involving 300 juveniles. Just like Saturday, a Metro wide assist was called in that instance with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit and Kansas City Police Departments all called to help Independence Police and mall security break up those fights.
At that point a 9 p.m. teen curfew was established in the area and the city said parents would be issued citations for youth who didn’t comply.
“Kids out here shouldn’t be out fighting at the mall being that there’s businesses and elderly people come out here and do walking,” Bobbie Christie said.
Saturday, ten people in all including six adults were arrested. Four were the parents or grandparents of teens involved in the melee. Charges range from endandering the welfare of a minor to assault on a law enforcement officer.
The fights forced the mall to shut down at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and Independence Police to issue a bulletin for parents to pick up their children from the mall.
“It’s unfortunate we do think about what kind of business we could have had since they we do have to close three hours early,” Fleet said.
“Conversations with the Independence Police Department, business owners and community leaders are ongoing and the Council will to explore additional steps that may be beneficial for the safety and welfare of those that live in, work in and visit this important area of our City after the first of the year,” Independence Mayor Eileen Weir said Monday.
Some people questioned the move right after the mall added lot of features to attract youth including an arcade in the food court and ropes course. Independence Center management was unavailable for comment after the fights or new youth restrictions.