A huge crowd of young shopping mall visitors at Indianapolis’ Castleton Square, one of the city’s busiest shopping destinations, stampeded last Saturday night in a “mall brawl” of the kind that is occurring at shopping centers around the U.S. The Indianapolis Star calls it the latest public security threat. “It was just utter chaos,” said a clerk at a perfume counter.
The brawl included reports of multiple fights but no injuries and no evidence to support the reports of gunfire. It resulted in no arrests. The problem in malls across the nation is being blamed mostly on unaccompanied minors who crowd shopping centers on weekends, sometimes resulting in clashes that lead to mayhem. About 75 malls have turned to policies requiring young people to have an adult escort. Castleton Square is among those that do not. The problems inside Castleton appear to have begun around 6 p.m. when the crowds began to thicken in a large open space where two wings of the mall intersect. Some eyewitnesses said it became difficult to move through the area; others likened it to the crowded atmosphere at a nightclub.