Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Melee Frenzy At Mall of America Sparked By Rumors That Rappers Lil' Wayne And Drake Were Inside

Photo of LEGO area inside the Mall of America by HNG.

Teens and unruly adults were arrested and cited after fights broke out at food vender area, other parts of the mall and outdoor bus routes.

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 27, 2011

Bloomington, Minnesota - On Monday, Bloomington police reported the arrest of ten teenagers after disturbances and fights broke out in the food vender area at the Mall of America (MoA). Another four teenagers and an adult were also arrested and cited for disorderly conduct by Metro Transit police outside the mall and on bus routes.
The brawls began inside the MoA and drew crowds, while other holiday shoppers left the scene and some exited the mall. Some of the stores in the immediate area were forced to close temperarily. At least 30 police officers from Bloomington, Metro Transit police, MoA security and Richfield Police responded to the scene shortly after 4:20 p.m. to maintain control and quell the crowds, according to Commander Mark Stehlik, Spokesperson for the Bloomington Police Department.
Police issued disorderly conduct citations to more than 20 teens suspected of being involved in the melee. Unconfirmed reports indicated, teenagers managed to grab merchandise from kiosks and shoppers as they fled. But on Tuesday, no merchandise was reported stolen from stores, kiosks or shoppers during the melee, according to Stehlik. Police estimated that at least between 100 to 200 teenagers were gathered when the chaotic scene occurred. It took police about an hour to control the scene and allow shoppers back in the area.
Mall officials also twitted on their MoA's account that chairs were thrown around at the food court making it sound like gunfire, but no one was reported firing a weapon.
No serious injuries were reported by police or Mall of America security. The MoA's twitter account denied rumors that had spread in the twin cities of both rappers Drake and Lil' Wayne were shopping or had a special appearance at Monday's after Christmas Holiday sale events. "There is no scheduled appearance for either performer...Drake is not here...There have been a series of altercations and some stores have gone into lockdown on their own...There was no shooting, chairs were thrown in the food court resulting in the loud noise that you heard...There is no official lock down right now," the Mall officials twitted on Monday afternoon. The MoA remained opened throughout the day and was reopened on Tuesday.
The rumor about both rappers at the MoA apparently drew groups of teenagers to the mall.
As a result of Monday's melee inside the nations mega mall, security will be on alert and keeping an eye on teenagers to make sure Monday's melee doesn't happened again. The MoA has more than 400 stores, 50 restaurants, 7 nightclubs, 14 theaters, employs 12,000 people, gets between 35 million to 40 million visits per year and has an indoor entertainment center that includes mechanical rides for children and adults.

Video's shot at Mall of America during Monday's melee at links: http://tinyurl.com/Brawl1MallofAmerica or http://tinyurl.com/BrawlMallofAmerica

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