(WTNH) — On Friday, three malls in Connecticut will reopen after three separate brawls broke out Thursday night.
In Milford, witnesses say it was a “pretty intense scene” for people who were inside at the time. Police say hundreds of people were involved in a fight that started in the food court area and then spread to other parts of the mall.
Officers became quickly overwhelmed. The decision was made to evacuate and shut down the mall.
Witnesses say police used K9 officers to disperse the crowd.
Police reported Friday they now have to review surveillance video to see who was involved in the fighting and vandalism that took place.
“This whole situation was crazy,” one witness, Monae Moye, told News 8 right after the mall was evacuated Thursday night. “They were fighting in the food court. I just think that they’re going to shut down on the 26th now because we can’t be great. We can’t be great ’cause every one is just… It’s just crazy.”
WEB EXTRA: Raw, full interview with Moye following fight at Milford Connecticut Post Mall
Moye also said one of the people involved had a gun, but this has not been confirmed by police.
“Somebody and their friends, they were fighting and then someone pulled a gun. They said they were ‘strap’ and they ‘had a gun,’ and that’s when they [police] just shut the whole mall down.”
Milford police received help from Stratford, West Haven, and Orange police departments and Connecticut State Police.
CT Post Mall does not enforce a curfew, but many shoppers think it’s a good next step.
“A couple of the other malls chose to not allow people that were [under] 18 years of age into the mall without an adult. This mall I know was leaning toward that.”– Michael Devito, Public Information Officer for Milford Police Department in a press conference Thursday night
Stores inside the mall were locked down as this was happening. Nobody has been arrested as of yet here in Milford.
The CT Post Mall said in a statement that they are implementing a Parental Escort Policy for the time being.
“In order to provide a safe and comfortable shopping environment, Connecticut Post Mall will immediately implement a Parental Escort Policy (PEP) for guests under the age of 18. This policy will be in effect from 3:00pm to 9:00pm today, December 27th and from 1:00pm until close on Saturday and Sunday, December 28-29.
The safety of our guests, employees, and tenants at Connecticut Post Mall is our top priority. We will continue to work diligently with local law enforcement to prevent future incidents.”– Connecticut Post Mall, Milford
The second fight to break out overnight Thursday occurred in West Hartford.
West Hartford police report that they were called to the scene of a fight involving juveniles at the Westfarms Mall around 6:13 p.m.
Agencies on the scene were able to disburse the fight without incident.
One juvenile was arrested on charges of interfering with an officer and disorderly conduct.
The mall remained opened after the incident.
Westfarms mall reported Friday that they will not be implementing a curfew or closing early, but will be ramping up security.
“While Westfarms has not implemented a juvenile curfew policy, we have bolstered our security team for the weekend and will continue to partner closely with local police working onsite to enforce local laws and our Code of Conduct.
If at any time a customer or group is in violation of either, or is disrupting the shopping and dining experience for any other customer, the individuals will be immediately removed by security or police, regardless of age.
Further, we will continue to assess the ongoing circumstances and, if warranted, will certainly consider all options to ensure a safe environment, including a juvenile curfew policy.“– Amanda Sirica, Westfarms Spokesperson
At Westfield Trumbull Mall, a third fight of the night broke out.
Three people were hurt. A male juvenile was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital, and another involved a juvenile female who was transported to Bridgeport Hospital; both suffered minor injuries.
Daniel Vasquez, 19, of Bridgeport, and six juveniles were arrested and charged with breach of peace.
All of these fights are now under investigation.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time something like this has happened.
The incidents come weeks after two shopping centers implemented curfews during the holiday season after two fights at the Shoppes at Buckland Hills in 2018.