Five juveniles were arrested as police worked to disperse a group of up to 1,000 unruly young people at the Cherry Hill Mall the day after Christmas.
Officers responded to the mall around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to find a large group of juveniles near the J.C. Penney wing, Cherry Hill police said. Authorities estimated the crowd to number 700 to 1,000 and described them as "disorderly."
As officers dispersed the crowd, five minors — one from Cherry Hill and four from Camden — were arrested for charges ranging from resisting arrest to disorderly conduct, police said.
No one was injured and no property was damaged, police said.
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"The safety and security of our shoppers, retailers, and employees are always top priority," the mall said in a prepared statement. "The day after Christmas is one of the busiest days of the year at the mall."
Police said there appeared to be no adult supervision for the kids.
Video posted to social media shows some retailers lowering security gates, trapping shoppers inside, as the melee unfolds.
Witness Kolby Eleazer said its tradition for young people in the area to go to the mall the day after Christmas to have a good time but it turned sour Tuesday night.
"Kids [were] running up and down the escalator the wrong way, so they shut them off, but they just kept going up and down," Eleazer told NBC10 Wednesday.
Some people did appear to throw punches without warning and others got trampled in the ensuing pandemonium, Eleazer said. Police quickly broke things up before anyone could be seriously hurt.
"We thank the police and our security partners for their assistance and commitment to ensuring the comfort and safety of the shopping center," the mall said.