Wayne NJ March 1 2017 The banging sounds made by chairs thrown during a fight between two families were misinterpreted as gunshots causing customers to flee Willowbrook Mall in Wayne on Sunday afternoon.
Police are still investigating the fight and have not yet filed any charges, according information released by the Wayne Police Department on Monday afternoon.
At about 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 26 two off-duty police officers put an end to a fight between two families in the mall's food court, according to information released by police.
Two men and a juvenile male engaged in a fight with another juvenile and his parents. During the fight one of the juveniles picked up and threw several chairs that made a loud sound, reports show. According to police information, some shoppers screamed "shots fired," having misinterpreted the crashes. Customers in the area fled the mall, reports read.
A responding officer observed about "20 or more people" running from the mall entrance outside the Cheesecake Factory, according to the press release. Two women were injured in the panic following the fight with one woman injuring her wrist, but refusing medical attention and the second was taken to an area hospital for undisclosed non-life-threatening injuries.
The juvenile male who threw the chairs was taken into custody for "health and welfare purposes," and then released to a responsible family member, according to police.The adult males were identified and issued a notice of trespass by the Willowbrook Mall security. The juvenile male and parents were not injured and did not require any medical attention, according to a press release.
Wayne Police detectives are reviewing security video footage to determine suspects and possible charges linked to the fight, according to the press release.
The mall was also evacuated in October 2016 after an “emotional” customer was taken into custody after he approached security staff saying he had found a note in the outer food courts containing a bomb threat, according to township police.
Police “were never able to verify” the existence of the note and subsequently took the customer into custody for psychiatric evaluation.