No security changes planned after Circle Centre brawl

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Even though one witness called the scene, “chaos,” Simon Properties said it doesn’t plan to make any changes to its security operation at Circle Centre following a weekend brawl between gang members, security officers and metro police officers.

Three teens were arrested Saturday night after an attempt to escort the young men from the property erupted into a battle as a police officer deployed his stun gun.

Aaron Gill, a shopper, pulled one teen off an officer.

“He was trying to put the officer in the choke hold.”

Rev. Charles Harrison of the Ten Point Coalition told Fox59 News the problem downtown has escalated ever since the weather turned cold after Thanksgiving. Police stepped up presence in the Broad Ripple area and gang members have started walking through Circle Center on Saturday nights.

“These kids are not only coming down there but these kids are coming down there with weapons.”

Harrison called for a mall curfew, such as at the Mall of America in Minnesota where children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult on Friday and Saturday nights.

“We really have got to look at some kind of curfew that doesn’t allow 400 kids to be in the mall that overwhelms the mall security and the ma and pa’s to be in there without parental supervision.”

Harrison referred to the so-called Mall Moms & Dads, hired by Simon Properties to encourage teens to behave.

A Simon spokesman told Fox59 News there were 25 people on patrol in Circle Centre when the fight broke out and the response was, “appropriate.”

Les Morris called the issue a, “societal problem,” and, “not a mall issue.” He said the fight was, “atypical,” at Circle Centre and that an escort rule has been considered and rejected at several Simon Properties.

He said there were no plans to change Simon’s security presence as a result of the incident.

Appearing on the Fox59 Morning News, Mayor Greg Ballard said the answer was not to provide police officers inside the mall on Friday and Saturday nights.

“We have to have the Simon security there, obviously, and, like I say, there are other people there in addition to the police department but we’re not trying to put a cadre of police in the mall because for something that might happen so you don’t want to do that sort of thing because it sends other signals in a bad direction.”

Circle Centre was the site for 221 IMPD reports in 2012. Though most were for minor cases such as shoplifting, some were for gang-related activities and trespassing.

Public Safety Director Troy Riggs sat down with members of the faith-based community who have long been concerned about the level of youth violence downtown.

“I’ve been in conversation with Police Chief Rick Hite today. He’s been in conversation with many of the mall operators, some of the owners and talking about dual responsibility.

“Obviously, we want to be there if an event occurs but they’re talking about hiring some additional police officers and what we can do in partnership.”

Riggs said he expects police, religious leaders and the business community to come up with some answers within a month. Some of those answers could include additional security or dress codes for youth.

“We have to have the partnership of those business owners and those property owners to make something happen.”

13 comments

  • Tyler

    Mall Moms and Dads. That is about the stupidest program yet. How about kicking some of the real moms and dads in the as s. This is the next level of social neglect that we are allowing to evolve. We didn't take steps to stop it at the public school level and look at what exists. These kid's moms and dads dump them on society ( school, lol ) during the day and now this with the malls is the norm. With IPS wanting to foot the bill for daycare we will being paying to tolerate this petulance from cradle to grave.

  • Ben

    The teen age gangsters at the mall today are the east side killers of tomorrow. The Mall is nothing more than an urban gangster training facility.

    • System is a joke

      Because the Juvenile court system has ruled against them. The problem is the kids are treated as victims instead of criminals. Probation is a joke and Marion County has the weakest judges in the state. There is no jail space and no one wants to change the system. Enjoy your next generation of thugs Indy. You created them.

  • 'Thor'

    These "kids" (15-18) are black gangbangers who will be in trouble again. This is a violent culture in the black community (young people) and most of that is a result of no family structure. How do I know that the thugs are black? The Ten Point Coalition is involved. How do I know about the lack of a family structure? This demographic has the largest percentage of single moms in the country. Even this country hick is smart enough to know where I can safely go and where I cannot. Safer is a better term.

  • bob searcy

    the kids DO lack wage earning opportunity. i think they should be given the chance to work for pay and then flatly jailed when they screw that up.. the entry level wages would probably be no more costly than incarceration. mechanization and globalization are conspiring to eliminate jobs. hopelessness=resignation imo..

  • DdJ

    Would you want to hire them? Seriously business cannot teach the kids to work hard. You want business to pay them as a baby sitting service.

  • Rick

    By not increasing mall security we are just going to continue seeing these problems. These "kids" need to be arrested, charged, convicted and given a sentence accordingly. Those carrying weapons, SHOULD spend time and be forced to work with mentors while in prison. By the justice system giving them a bye because they are 16 or 17 years old, they seem to get the idea that they will always just get a "slap of the wrist". The largest problem is the lack of family life for many of these teenagers. Growing up in a one parent household where there is no, or very little discipline and then being dumped off at the malls so that the parent can "have their own life". Very frustrating to society in general. Black or white it makes no difference, it seems that family structure has been lost in the last 2 or 3 decades.

  • Rockstar

    What we are effectively dealing with are cretins, nimrods and philistines, whose mental and psychological growth was stunted and inhibited by their disdain for discipline and respect for themselves and others.

  • MeatPlow

    I'm giving it 1 month until somebody gets dead or hurt badly enough to sue the crap out of the mall.
    Sad that the latter will prove true giving Tyrone his first caddy and second baby mama.

  • Rae

    I'd like to see the Mayor step up and protect our taxpayer investment in the mall that no one really wanted to start with. I wouldn't dream of taking guests there these days. People wanting to spend money don't want to deal with that mess. I doubt the kids are spending much. It will be another big FAIL like Union Station, massive Taxpayer investment sunk, if it isn't safe or perceived as a safe place for spenders to go.
    Ballard no longer cares about anything but making his cronies happy.

  • Tempestt

    As an African American women, young women (24) I am thoroughly embarrassed when I shop at the mall and witness 50 teens who look like me acting like they have no common courtesy, respect or awareness of where certain behaviors should not be displayed. It makes other people look at me the same, and it is ultimately not fair that I should labeled as the same. Non the less the mall should be accountable for this. Had they increased rules, guidelines, security etc then this would not steadily be an increasing and on going issue. So the mall should step it up because for those of us who SPEND MONEY at these locations, it is unfair as a shopper to have to be on gaurd concerning safety issues on a Saturday afternoon, because at the end of the day the mall is getting paid.

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