Local News

Mall starts curfew, turns away 100 teens

Posted October 3, 2008 11:49 a.m. EDT
Updated October 4, 2008 7:25 a.m. EDT

— A curfew for teens at Triangle Town Center mall went into effect Friday evening.

Under the mall's new Youth Escort Policy, anyone under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian inside the mall after 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The policy covers the entire mall, except for the Sears, Belk's, Macy's, Dillard's and Saks department stores.

“We might not be considered the cool mall anymore,” mall spokeswoman Jennifer Jones said.

The policy was adopted after a July melee involving scores of teens that forced the mall to be evacuated and stores to close early.

Cole Ross, 17, was turned away from the mall Friday night, because he arrived during the curfew period.

“It shows you a couple of people can mess it up for everybody,” Ross said.

Mall officials started making announcements at 4 p.m. to allow teens to finish their shopping and arrange for an adult escort or a ride home. Any unescorted teen in the mall after 5 p.m. would be given a chance to call a parent or guardian to pick them up or join them at the mall, officials said.

On Friday night, 118 people were turned away from the mall. Fifteen people, who did not have transportation, were escorted to the mall's reunion room to call for transportation.

“There is just a lot of concern in the community about our youth and unsupervised youth and feeling safe in public areas,” Jones said.

Valerie Hilliard, who was shopping Friday evening, said she likes the extra rules. “It’s a lot quieter, and (there’s) a little more space to walk,” she said.

Two other area malls – Northgate Mall in Durham and Parkwood Mall in Wilson – also have restrictions on teens on the weekends.

In 1993, the Asheville Mall was one of the first in the country to put teen restrictions into place. The restrictions were later canceled.