CONCORD, N.C. — An incident at Concord Mills Mall on Saturday has some shoppers questioning why the mall doesn’t have curfews for teenagers.
Witness said some stores went into lockdown and customers were rushed into back rooms as dozens of kids stampeded through Concord Mills Mall.
Concord police said there was no violence or destruction during this incident, but a woman Channel 9 spoke with says she was terrified.
“All of a sudden some people started screaming and about 50 to 60 teenagers, kids started running,” Misty Hampton said.
She was inside the FYE store around 8 p.m. Saturday with her family including her 3-month-old grandson and pregnant daughter-in-law when chaos broke out.
“It was very scary,” she said.
Concord police said it originated at the AMC movie theater.
“People are screaming, ‘Fight. Gun.’ You didn’t know,” she said.
Police said dozens of teens ran into the mall.
“They could have gotten trampled,” Hampton said.
She said employees locked the store down and helped 15 customers huddle in the back for safety.
“I actually thought to myself, in the moment, ‘What if this is it? Do I need to text my parents and say: 'Mom dad this is it?' I don’t know what’s going to happen,'” she said.
It's not the first incident involving a large group of teens at the shopping center.
A brawl broke out involving teenagers in January.
In September 2017, almost 10,000 people signed a petition asking for a curfew after a fight.
Hampton said some of the kids in Saturday's incident looked younger than 12.
“We don’t understand why there’s not a curfew,” she said.
Concord police told Channel 9 they can't say if a curfew would help, but said it is an example of parents needing to be more involved with teaching behavior.
“Something needs to be done because somebody could’ve gotten very seriously hurt,” Hampton said.
In a statement to Channel Nine, a Concord Mills spokesperson said:
“The safety of our shoppers, guests, employees and staff is always our number one priority at Concord Mills. We have several security measures – both seen and unseen – in place to maintain a fun, safe, family-friendly environment.
“Concord Mills works closely with the Concord Police Department and is host to a local precinct to allow for added security throughout the center and surrounding community.”
Northlake and SouthPark malls in Charlotte and Eastridge Mall in Gastonia have a curfew for minors on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Carolina Place in Pineville and Monroe Crossing do not have curfews.
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