COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Police vowed to have a large presence and to crack down on curfew violators after hundreds of teens ran wild through Northgate Mall Thursday night.
Police said they made 10 arrests on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to aggression against an officer.
Police promised to strictly enforce the mall’s 5 p.m. juvenile curfew, which bans anyone under 18 from mall property without a guardian.
“We will have someone at the doors this evening at the beginning of the curfew and we will pass out those flyers explaining what we will be doing,” said Sgt. Jim Love.
“Parents, if you know there is a rule, then help your kids comply.”
Shoppers and employees reported teens swarming everywhere Thursday night, getting into fights in the mall and loitering in the parking lot and at local restaurants.
"I don’t even feel safe going out to my car,” a 911 caller said.
Police said the teens were drawn to a social media meet-up event. Officials are aware that there’s another social media flyer online for a similar showdown at Northgate in January, and investigators are looking into it.
Colerain Township Trustee Matt Walhert said he was angry that the mall had to close early, resulting in a loss in business, and just plain dismayed.
“Part of me is angry, but there is another part of me that is just really sad,” Wahlert said. “You know, it’s a gorgeous day. It’s 60 degrees. What are you doing in a mall trying to fight each other? There are much more constructive things that you can do.”
Colerain police released a statement saying they were putting more officers near the mall and surrounding businesses.
"On more than one occasion, groups of individuals, mostly juveniles... have gathered to loiter on the lot of Northgate Mall and become disruptive, intimidating, and have engaged in fights," the statement reads. "Much of this conduct has escalated to the point of criminal activity... This behavior will not be tolerated."
As part of a solution, the police said they will dedicate additional officers to stay near the mall and businesses.
Colerain Township has a juvenile curfew that does not allow anyone under 18 outside between midnight and 5 a.m. without a parent, unless they are going to work, school or a church event.
The police's statement also said, "Those individuals who chose not to comply with the law will face arrest and prosecution."