NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - Police say four juveniles and one 18-year-old were arrested following a fight at Patrick Henry Mall in Newport News Thursday night.
According to Lou Thurston with the Newport News Police Department, police responded to the mall at approximately 7 p.m. for an initial disturbance, controlled the situation and left.
Thurston said police came back to the mall within an hour for another disturbance.
"I [saw] people bumping each other like there was about to be a fight," witness Evelyn Maldonado said.
Maldonado was at work inside the mall when she said chaos erupt.
"Everyone was running," Maldonado said. "It was crazy. It was really crowded. People were falling on the floor."
When police got to the scene, they found a mob of teens fighting.
"I started seeing people arguing at first and I was like, something must be happening," Maldonado said. "A sign got knocked on the floor. Someone got knocked on the floor. It was crazy."
"The crowd apparently kind of turned on the police which kind of gives the officers real concern when that happens," Thurston said. "Fortunately communications had dispatched all the available units in the mall or at least start heading towards the mall."
Police arrested four juveniles and 18-year-old Maurice Wilbor Chapman, Jr. of Newport News. Chapman was issued a summons for trespassing and released. Officers were able to force the other teens outside.
No shots were fired during the incident, and charges for the juveniles ranged from trespassing to disorderly conduct to resisting arrest.
Mikia Ross, the marketing director for the mall called the incident a "flash mob" that got too big and caused a disturbance.
Ross said police made the decision to close the mall early at approximately 8 p.m. but police say mall security told them the mall was closing.
Although the mall was open at regular hours Friday, there was a noticeable police presence.
"We're going to be there and will be there for some decent time," Thurston said. "We certainly don't want people to avoid going to the mall."
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