Mall of America looking into social media connection

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  • December 27, 2011 - 11:01 AM

The Mall of America and Bloomington police have indefinitely boosted security at the mall after a large crowd of teenagers rampaged through the mall Monday, fighting with each other and assaulting shoppers.

The mall is also investigating suspicions that the violence was organized through social media, in particular through Facebook chatter, Executive Vice President of Operations Maureen Bausch told the Star Tribune.

A fight that started in the food court around 4:20 p.m. Monday quickly escalated into a group of 200 kids, ages 10 to 16, racing throughout the mall throwing punches, shoving shoppers, and hurling chairs, incidents that were captured on cell phones and posted to YouTube.

Monday was the most serious incident at the mall since 1995, when crowds of young people also brawled. The violence prompted the Mall of America to ban people under 16 from entering the mall on Friday and Saturday without an escort from parents and guardians.

Bausch said the mall would conduct a top to bottom review of security and mall procedures.

About 5 percent to 10 percent of stores shut their doors by 7:15 p.m., more than two hours before the mall closed, Bausch said.

Bausch said she did not know what kind of impact the incident had on business. The day after Christmas is one of the busiest shopping days of the year.


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