Fights break out at Mall of America, 9 arrested

1:01 PM, Dec 27, 2011   |    comments
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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) - Police arrested nine people at the Mall of America Monday, the day after Christmas, after multiple fights broke out, authorities said.

Mall of America officials released a statement saying that around 4:20 p.m. 50 juveniles caused a large disturbance in the north food court.

Photo Gallery: Mall of America fight pictures

Witnesses said the fights started after there were reports that rappers Lil' Wayne and Drake were visiting the Mall. Police, however, did not comment on these rumors.

Cmdr. Mark Stehlik of Bloomington police said in a press conference that 30 officers responded to the fight and arrested five people (both adults and juveniles) for disorderly conduct.

Mall of America security arrested four other people for disorderly conduct as well, Mall officials said.

Police said as many as 200 were involved the fights. A YouTube video, which contains profanity, shows a fight break out and rage before a police officer interrupts it. The fight occurs at roughly 50 seconds in.

As the fights were popping up, the Mall of America inadvertently called for a lock down. But the lock down was called off minutes later, Mall officials said.

There were no reports of serious injuries, Mall official said.

Although the Mall kept its normal hours, some stores within the Mall closed early.

Some witnesses reported being evacuated from the Mall; but police said that shoppers were escorted toward the east exit to make room for the investigation.

According to Stehlik, no weapons were recovered, and there are no reports of burglary. However, there is YouTube video of chairs being thrown.

Video captured police officers walking with their guns drawn; but police said this was in response to rumors of gun shots having been fired.

"It is very unfortunate to see these incidents occurring, especially during the holiday shopping season when families are out spending time together," Mall officials wrote in a statement.

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