State News

Mall officials consider changes after melee

Posted July 27, 2008
Updated July 28, 2008

— As many as 300 people joined a melee that began inside a Raleigh mall and spilled outside the shopping center during the fight, police said Sunday.

Raleigh Police Department spokesman Jim Sughrue said the gang-related brawl began inside Triangle Town Center Mall on Saturday night at about 8 p.m. Off-duty officers working at the mall requested assistance, and Wake County sheriff's deputies N.C. Highway Patrol troopers also responded

Sughrue said a 15-year-old was stabbed during the incident. He was taken to WakeMed and treated for non-life-threatening injuries. A police officer was also injured with a "significant" cut to his knee that he suffered during a chase. He was taken to Duke Raleigh Hospital for treatment and is expected to recover, Sughrue said.

Authorities said the fight was "gang-related," though Sughrue declined to say why they reached that conclusion. Raleigh police have previously said examples of gang-related activity include actions that would establish a gang's territory, suppress another gang or get revenge.

Seven people were arrested: Darryl Anthony Bobbitt, 18; Tyrell Eugene Brantley, 18; Christopher James Gamble, 17; Laquavis Oneal Jordan, 16; Javonnie Nicholson, 16; and Ricky Ladd Williams, 16. The seventh person was a 15-year-old whom authorities would not name.

The six older teenagers were each charged with inciting a riot. Some of them also face other charges, including second-degree trespassing, disorderly conduct, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, assault on a law enforcement officer, and engaging in an affray.

Gamble has been charged in the stabbing, authorities said.

Norma Williams said her son, Tyrell Brantley, was falsely accused. She said he was in the mall trying to get a job.

“He was in a store filling an application; he came out walked in the mall. Then he saw all the noise and people running. …When he goes out the door, he gets arrested,” Williams said.

It took about an hour for authorities to fully restore order.

Jennifer Jones, the mall's marketing director, said authorities decided to close the mall early. She said the mall operated on normal hours Sunday and that officials there are working to identify ways to prevent such an incident from happening again.

"Our main concern is the safety of our shoppers and our retailers," Jones said.

Security guards handed out memos to retailers on Sunday about the incident and about a meeting scheduled for later in the week.

Mall officials said among the options under review is a curfew for teenagers. Northgate Mall in Durham already has such a policy and security officials said it has been effective.  At Northgate, shoppers under 16 must be accompanied by an adult after 6 p.m. Paula Harris, marketing director at Northgate, said the "Shoppers First" program has been in place since 2003.


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  • robertofthecats Jul 29, 2008

    Young people are cruising around the parking lots and going to the mall for something other than shopping or getting something to eat.

    Solve the problem like this...

    Put a tollbooth up at the entrance to the mall complex. Charge every car $5.00 to get into the parking lots, but give them a $7.00 voucher that can be used at any store.

    I know that anyone who is going to the mall for its intended purpose, to buy something, won't mind getting a nearly 30% discount. Troublemakers who just want to cruise around, hang out, and start fights will move on to somewhere else.

  • newwake Jul 29, 2008

    "I have a relative that works security at TTC. He tells me that their hands are tied, by management, because they do not want to be accused of racism."

    This is the problem. Grow up people. You cant walk around afraid all the time. Black or doesnt matter. If a group of people are doing something wrong...confront them and take care of the problem. I cant believe people are afraid to tell a group of another color what to do because they are afraid of being accused of being racist. What a bunch of pansies. Fear is addictive and is a major part of the problem. Everyone is so afraid to step on someone elses toes because they are afraid they are going to play the race card. Unbelievable!!!! Ive been in Law Enforcement for nearly 15 years and take the same stand with all colors because we all are humans and deserve to be corrected when causing trouble.

  • DominicanNC Jul 28, 2008

    LOL Shirleyr1>>>> I told my wife almost the same thing this morning. Why was her son looking for work at 8pm? wow what a liar!!!

  • shirleyr1 Jul 28, 2008

    Hopefully this mother who was interviewed on WRAL," my son looking for a job! " give me a break! I think these parents haven't got a clue what their kids are doing at the mall or anywhere else on any given long as they are out of the house and not bothering them. I just hope Tyrone's mother never has to sit in a courtroom and watch her son be given the death penalty or life in prison, when he was just looking for a job.

  • kittiboo Jul 28, 2008

    Aren't they getting ready to build a Wal-mart across from the Target there? THAT should help the area clean up, huh?
    I actually like TTC and we eat and shop there a lot- but not on weekend nights anymore! I also think all these ideas for improving security are great, but they will HAVE to be vigilantly enforced.

  • LBOE Hits Jul 28, 2008

    I don't believe it was 300 people fighting. Everyone knows when a fight breaks out, there's going to be a crowd, and going to be people getting hype. I think it was just 300 people hyped up. And I've been to Triangle Town on a Saturday night, didn't look like 300 teens there to me.

    The involved parties planned to meet at the mall - thinking the other people would back out at a public environment. If you ban them or whatever, they'll just move to McDonalds or somewhere.

    I was once an ignorant teen (not to their degree) and not caring, and looking back, there wasn't anything that would have changed my mindset, I just grew out of it - some of my friends didn't, they're locked up for murder and attempted murder. I guess it's different for each individual. You'll never be able to control everything, this is no different. Change mall policy, the ignorant individuals will change how they do it, or where, or when.

  • rargos Jul 28, 2008

    In the old days, if groups of young people were hanging out in the mall and they looked like they might cause trouble, the security/police officers would ask them to leave and charge them with trespassing if they didn't.

    Now, if a security/police officer asks such a youth to leave and that youth is a minority, it's "racial profiling" and grounds for a lawsuit (or at least a few loud demonstrations).

    Political correctness is killing this country.

  • gretchenmiller123 Jul 28, 2008

    Having worked for a major marking agency which caters to malls, this is not unlike the experience for many malls near metropolitan areas. I actually had a retired police tell me such events are predictable, but he wasn't allowed to speak the truth about "why" so many malls are closing down. "More diversity = more crime." It is an unfortunate fact. Perhaps we should allow our taxes to be raised even further so that we can build more basketball courts and youth centers?

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jul 28, 2008

    I'm upset that the RPD which every tax increase is used to justify had to call in the State Troopers and the Wake County County Sheriff Deputies to stabilize the situation during the riot at the mall.

    Where were all of the RPD that you see driving around the mall writing tickets for illegal parking and illegal handicap parking when the riot started.

    The RPD is not a law enforcement agency. It's a revenue generation agency for the City of Meekerville.

  • SEOpro Jul 28, 2008

    dukebbfan - you don't get out much do you? Most of the theatres, malls, parks and other public areas are used as babysitting services now. So - the kids are dumped there at a young age and they normally gravitate back there when they are old enough to drive themselves because it is a familiar area and they feel comfortable there.

    The outside common areas are created for people to sit, relax and congregate. That is exactly what is happening. Kids are congregating and obviously not getting along.

    Don't be surprised when profiling starts showing up in the mall security mind-set.