Raleigh mall prepares security for tax-free weekend
Posted August 1, 2008 5:57 p.m. EDT
Updated October 17, 2011 10:16 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — After last weekend’s gang related riot, Triangle Town Center mall officials said security will be in place to protect shoppers during this weekend’s state tax-free holiday
Mall General Manager Jack Love said patrols have been increased in and around the shopping center in response to the fight.
The brawl began Saturday evening inside Triangle Town Center and involved as many as 300 people, police said. A 15-year-old was stabbed, and a police officer injured his leg in the incident, but neither injury was considered serious.
Seven people were charged with inciting a riot and other offenses in the incident, which forced an evacuation of the mall and had stores closing early.
Just a day after their court appearances Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan said the city has a "significant" gang problem that requires a community-wide response.
Shoppers on Friday said they felt relieved to see extra security at the Triangle Town Center mall.
Jamie Baldwin said she was not nervous about shopping at the mall on Friday.
“I am actually assuming that since that has happened the security is probably the best its ever been,” Baldwin said.
Shopper Patricia Roghelia said the extra security made her feel safer.
Some shoppers said the disturbance forced them to change their shopping plans.
Angel Perry said the incident prompted her to shop at the mall during the day instead of night.
“Any reasonable person probably understands that last week’s events are probably not the norm around here and we are going to make sure that it is not the norm going forward,” Love said.
Mall officials said they are considering options for long term security, including a curfew. After incidents at Northgate Mall in Durham, mall officials implemented a curfew.
“Sometimes perception is reality. We want people to feel as though they’re safe here at Triangle Town Center,” Love said.
The sales tax holiday weekend began Friday. Items exempt from sales tax this weekend include clothing, sports equipment and some school supplies.