Fayetteville mall tightens restrictions on unaccompanied minors after fight
Posted December 27, 2016
Fayetteville, N.C. — Following a Monday afternoon fight that led to an evacuation, unsupervised teenagers will not be allowed to visit the Cross Creek Mall after 5 p.m. for the remainder of the week, unless they are accompanied by an adult.
Authorities said that a confrontation began in the mall food court at about 4:40 p.m. Monday. Fayetteville Police said several people called 911 saying they heard what they thought were gunshots. Officers said there was no evidence that shots were fired at the mall prior to the evacuation.
Police believe the panic started with a fight between teenagers in the food court and escalated.
Beginning Tuesday through Dec. 31, all visitors under the age of 18 are required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 21 after 5 p.m.
Beginning at 5 p.m., all visitors under the age of 18 must leave the mall or be joined by an adult. Those who refuse to leave the property when asked may be prosecuted for trespassing.
"I worry about my kids, and they are 20 and 22," said Cynthia Lowder. "My son happened to be out here yesterday so I think it is a good idea to enforce the rule."
But not everyone is calling the "youth escort policy" the right step.
"It's limiting freedom basically. It's pretty much Marshall Law and I kind of don't agree with that," said Kelen Edwards.
The Cross Creek Mall already had an escort policy in place that required all teens to be accompanied by a parent or guardian after 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Monday’s incident at the Cross Creek Mall was one of several similar incidents around the country. There were similar disturbances at malls in New York, New Jersey, Tennessee and Colorado. In Memphis, police arrested several people following fights at two malls there. No one was injured and no gunshots were fired, despite reports indicating otherwise.