The Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, Illinois was evacuated and closed Monday night after fights broke out and teens threw water bottles and Gatorade bottles.
Aurora police responded about 6:30 p.m. Monday when about 1,000 teens congregated in the Fox Valley Mall. An Aurora police officer on duty at the Fox Valley Mall requested extra officers when he saw the large number of teens congregating. When teens started to throw bottles from upper level balconies, authorities decided to temporarily close the mall. Employees were evacuated first, then announcements were made on the mall’s public address announcing the mall closure and evacuation.
A mall security official, speaking at about 7:00 p.m. Monday, confirmed that the the Fox Valley Mall was closed. The security guard would not confirm or deny that there was a large fight, and would not state the reason behind the mall closure. Also, Aurora Police Department uses a radio system with proprietary technology that cannot be monitored by news media, which made accurate reporting of the disturbance difficult.
Fox Malley Mall was scheduled to close at the regular 9 p.m. closing time, which followed recent extended holiday hours.
People were detained on the scene by police, and one person was heard hysterically yelling, “I can’t breathe” in the aftermath. There were no reports of any serious injuries, but paramedics responded to assist a person who had a medical episode while fleeing, and also stood by in case any serious injuries did occur.
Recently, Aurora police also responded about 5:50 p.m. Saturday, December 24, 2016 after a Fox Valley Center security officer told an Aurora police officer that a customer had reported seeing a teen boy with a gun in a lower level, common area. The teen was charged Saturday after he was seen carrying a loaded air gun in Fox Valley Mall.
Video of disturbance at Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, Illinois.
Currently officials are not sure whether the Fox Valley Mall fights were intentionally connected somehow to fights and disturbances that occurred at shopping malls nationwide Monday night.
In Fayetteville, N.C., police responded about 5:00 p.m. Monday to Cross Creek Mall to a report of of a disturbance. He says some teenagers were apparently involved in a fight at the mall.
Video of fighting at Buckland Hills in Manchester, Connecticut.
Police also responded to a disturbance at The Shoppes at Buckland Hills mall Manchester, Conn., and arrested several people. The Shoppes at Buckland Hills mall was also evacuated.
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Fox Valley Mall wildin pic.twitter.com/UU7p0Qq7Gs
— Velma (@BFitman) December 27, 2016
Aurora police did not update citizens about the status of the Fox Valley Mall disturbance, and did not even mention the disturbance occurred on their official Twitter account or their official Facebook account.
The most recent Tweet as of 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, December 27, 2016 stated … “Now that winter break is here for area schools, here’s a reminder of Aurora’s Curfew Ordinance which is strictly… fb.me/8oBS55cre The link to their official Facebook post provided additional information about the curfew.
“Now that winter break is here for area schools, here’s a reminder of Aurora’s Curfew Ordinance which is strictly enforced:
Ages 15 & Under
10 p.m. Daily
Ages 16 & 17
11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday
Midnight Friday & Saturday
We want to help you keep your children safe. Please make sure they abide to the curfew hours.”
The disturbance and fighting occurred at least six hours before curfew.
Several commenters on the Facebook were apparently unaware of what was happening in Aurora.
“Mmmmmm I wonder what just happened at the fox valley mall lots of cops ?maybe because those kid were not supervise by the parents”
“I was just looking for info about all them cop cars going to the mall…..”
Now that winter break is here for area schools, here's a reminder of Aurora's Curfew Ordinance which is strictly… https://t.co/5PgTNdzexs
— Aurora (IL) Police (@AuroraPoliceIL) December 26, 2016
Last chance tonight to see the Holiday Festival of Lights presented by the Aurora Rotary Club in partnership with… https://t.co/JaGAlYIh6M
— Aurora (IL) Police (@AuroraPoliceIL) December 26, 2016
US MALL DISTURBANCES …
Mall disturbances or fights were reported in …
Town Center (Social media communications about fighting, crowds gathered, and mall was closed before fights broke out)
The mall is closing early this evening due to a disturbance. No immediate threats exist. We will open tomorrow at 10 a.m.
— Town Center Aurora (@TCAurora) December 27, 2016
Fox Valley Mall (disturbance, water-filled plastic throwing, fighting, possible arrest)
Elizabeth, New Jersey
The Mills at Jersey Gardens (fighting and false report of gunfire, an 8-year-old and 12-year-old, were injured)
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Cross Creek Mall (teens fighting in food court, reports that shots were fired, but shots fired unfounded)
Ref Cross Creek Mall. Reported shots fired. Unconfirmed. No shooting victims or property damage. Mall made the decision to evacuate, not PD
— Fayetteville Police (@FayettevillePD) December 26, 2016
Fort Worth, Texas
Hulen Mall on lockdown (mall lockdown, about 100 people involved in consecutive fights)
hulen mall wild for this one lmao pic.twitter.com/4rD4ZO5h1H
— cyn ? (@CyNinja) December 27, 2016
Wolfchase Galleria (crowd and disturbance, mall evacuated and closed early)
Oak Court Mall (crowd and disturbance, mall evacuated and closed early)