Manchester CT Dec 28 2016 Police on Tuesday said seven suspects from Hartford were arrested after fights involving dozens of people forced an early closing of the Bulkland Hills mall Monday night.
No one was seriously injured during the chaotic series of brawls that broke out at the Shoppes at Buckland Hills at about 5:30 p.m. Police from surrounding towns and state troopers helped Manchester police restore order. The mall was due to close at 9 p.m., but most stores were closed by 7:30 p.m.
Police arrested Raekwon Gaines, 20, of 17 Barber St., charged with second-degree breach of peace; and Solomon Wilson-Frame, 19, of 16 Hunnington St., charged with first-degree criminal trespass, second-degree breach of peace and interfering with an officer.
Also arrested were two 16-year-old boys, who face charges of first-degree criminal trespassing and breach of peace and interfering with an officer; a 15-year-old boy charged with breach of peace; a 14-year-old boy charged with breach of peace and interfering with an officer; and a 15-year-old girl charged with first-degree trespassing and breach of peace.
Police responded initially to a fight between eight to 10 teenagers. There were several hundred teenagers inside the mall and several other fights broke out about the same time, police said.
One Manchester officer was hit while attempting to break up a fist fight, although he did not require medical attention, police Capt. Christopher Davis said.
Davis said there were no reports of weapons involved and no indication that any of the fights were gang related.Officers from East Hartford, Vernon, South Windsor, Glastonbury and the state police responded.
Police said the disturbance appeared to have been "loosely organized on social media."
There were similar incidents at malls around the country including in New York, New Jersey and North Carolina, where chaos erupted at a mall in Fayetteville and emergency medical personnel were called in to assist someone who had a medical episode while fleeing.
Hartford police say their crime center is working with other police departments to help prevent mall fights. They also are putting extra police officers at Bowties Cinema on New Park Avenue and at other spots in the capital city, Deputy Chief Brian Foley said.
No one was seriously injured in the mall melees in other states, which, during the panic, also prompted numerous false reports of gunfire.