Incident involving 200 juveniles prompts closure of Carson shopping mall

Incident involving 200 juveniles prompts closure of Carson shopping mall

A significant incident involving around 200 juveniles led to the closure of a busy shopping mall in Carson on Saturday night. The disturbance began at the SouthBay Pavilion Mall, where authorities received reports of a large gathering at approximately 5:20 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

During the gathering, the situation escalated as a trash can was set on fire and illegal fireworks were ignited inside one of the stores. Despite dispersal orders issued by law enforcement, the juveniles reportedly refused to comply, prompting the need for additional backup to manage the situation. The teens’ disruptive behavior not only endangered shoppers but also severely disrupted business operations.

Witnesses described chaotic scenes, with some juveniles starting fires in trash cans. Jamila Buie, a witness, mentioned that over 100 kids were detained as a result of the disturbance. Photos from the scene depicted a substantial law enforcement presence surrounding the mall, with numerous teen suspects being handcuffed and detained.

Authorities spent approximately five hours detaining the suspects involved in the incident. Around 60 to 70 juveniles were reportedly detained, and multiple juveniles were issued citations, requiring them to appear in court at a future date. Fortunately, no injuries or thefts from retail shops were reported during the incident.

In a related event earlier that day, five youths were arrested after disruptive crowds of teens descended on the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, leading to the closure of the mall and nearby streets. Torrance police officers, who were patrolling the mall at around 12:42 p.m., observed a large group of juveniles fighting. The officers escorted them off the mall’s property, but the situation escalated later in the afternoon.

By 4:30 p.m., crowds of juveniles had gathered at different spots within the shopping center. The escalating disruptive behavior resulted in minor injuries to a juvenile and a police officer. Torrance police called for assistance from nearly a dozen other law enforcement agencies. Officers formed a skirmish line, issued a dispersal order, and escorted the young people away from the mall and surrounding businesses.

The five juveniles arrested in Torrance included three girls and two boys. Torrance Mayor George K. Chen expressed his dismay over the incident and praised the law enforcement response. He stated, “We have entered a very sad state when youth visit our community and cause harm and havoc.”

The Police Department noted that four of the arrested youths were from Los Angeles, Hawthorne, Compton, and Gardena, while the residence of the fifth was unknown. Despite some 911 calls reporting youth “indiscriminately throwing bottles,” businesses did not report any thefts or significant vandalism.

As a result of the incident, Carson Street was closed from Madrona Avenue to Del Amo Circle East, and Del Amo Circle East was closed from Carson Street to Fashion Way. Fashion Way was also closed from Madrona Avenue to Amie Avenue. Traffic resumed in all directions around midnight.

The Daily Breeze reported that the Del Amo Fashion Center shut down early after police arrived at the shopping center around 5 p.m. The mall, which was scheduled to close at 9 p.m., closed earlier than planned. However, the police activity on Saturday was not expected to affect the mall’s hours on New Year’s Eve. The mall was scheduled to be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, according to the shopping center’s website.

These incidents highlight the challenges faced by law enforcement and community leaders in managing large gatherings of juveniles and ensuring public safety. The swift response by multiple law enforcement agencies helped to prevent further escalation and maintain order, but the events have raised concerns about youth behavior and the potential for similar disturbances in the future.

Source: KTLA, The Daily Breeze

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