Skip to main content

Mob of teens overruns mall in Brooklyn

By Haimy Assefa, CNN
updated 7:45 AM EST, Sun December 29, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Over 300 teens stormed a Brooklyn mall causing chaos
  • Mall employees were terrified as teens banged on store doors
  • The disturbance drove down post-Christmas sales

(CNN) -- Imagine the chaos of Black Friday -- but worse.

Every shopper's nightmare was lived out on Thursday when a horde of rowdy teens stampeded through a New York mall -- screaming, wreaking havoc and banging on shop doors.

"Things are back to normal with more police around," Joli Chen, a worker at a beauty supply store, said Saturday. "But the other day was crazy. Black Friday was normal compared to that. They were making trouble."

Flash mobs have been known to descend on malls across the country, singing, dancing and even accompanying couples getting engaged. But the Brooklyn flash mob isn't the first to turn ugly.

In the summer of 2012, a Walmart in Jacksonville, Florida, was mobbed by 300 people who entered the store and destroyed the security system, according to CNN affiliate WJXT.

Police said the group destroyed an electronic anti-shoplifting security scanner that cost about $1,500, WJXT reported. The massive crowd descended on the store after a party that was broken up nearby. No arrests were made.

In New York, Chen and others described a flash mob of more than 300 teens who, at first, started gathering at Brooklyn's Kings Plaza Shopping Center before erupting in a frenzy of yelling, running, shoving and pounding on doors. Many stores were forced to shut down on the busy shopping day after Christmas.

"They tried to scare us," Chen said. "They were cursing at us. The police tried to keep them moving but there were so many. And there are so many entrances, they kept coming back in."

On Friday, the mall turned away unaccompanied minors. On Saturday, Chen said, teens were allowed to shop again.

A New York police spokesman confirmed that more than 300 rowdy teens overran the Kings Plaza mall the day after Christmas.

At about 6 p.m., groups roamed the mall banging on glass storefronts while cursing and screaming at people, mall employee Rickie Liu told CNN.

Reports of damage were unclear, but some teens picked up a glass container filled with candy and shattered it on the floor, the owner of a candy kiosk told CNN affiliate WCBS.

The rambunctious crowd turned what is usually a quiet mall into a terrifying place, said mall employee Charmaine Chen.

Many stores were forced to shutter their gates on a busy day. Liu said she received a call from mall security advising store employees to lock store doors for their own safety.

Shop owner Kenny Pak received a call from security telling him there were teens fighting and causing a commotion.

Police arrived after mall security called for backup at around 9 p.m., said a New York police spokesman. Officers eventually escorted nearly the disorderly teens out of the mall.

The coordinated chaos lasted about two hours, according to Liu, and ruined expected good sales.

Her shop didn't even reach $100 in business by 6 p.m., Liu said.

Police said there were no arrests made or complaints filed with the authorities about damage or assaults.

Police were reviewing mall security video as part of their investigation.

FBI seeks suspect who shot cops

4 arrests made in fatal New Jersey mall carjacking

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 11:50 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Experts believe that ISIS may be using a Spanish enclave to bring jihad to Europe.
updated 9:00 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
With an efficient subway, inexpensive taxis and a good public bus system, Hong Kong is normally an easy city to navigate ...
updated 7:32 PM EDT, Sun September 28, 2014
CNN's Ivan Watson was in the middle of a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong when things got out of hand.
updated 4:12 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
The world's animal population has halved in 40 years as humans put unsustainable demands on Earth, a new report warns.
updated 8:49 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Every day, refugees and migrants risk their lives as they seek a new life. Now, a new report puts a figure to the number of victims.
updated 10:42 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Mainstream commentators must promote positive role models to Muslims feeling victimized, writes Ghaffar Hussain.
updated 2:13 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
Two men familiar with inside knowledge of ISIS speak with CNN's Arwa Damon.
Explore CNN's interactive that explains ISIS' roots, what it controls, and where its support comes from.
updated 4:10 PM EDT, Thu September 25, 2014
In his first-ever interview as the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani defended his country against allegations of funding terrorism.
updated 11:03 AM EDT, Sat September 27, 2014
The North Korean leader hasn't been seen for weeks, leading to speculation that he is in poor health.
updated 9:54 PM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Haider al-Abadi hopes airstrikes don't lead to "of another terrorist element" instead of ISIS.
updated 9:19 AM EDT, Thu September 25, 2014
The United States couldn't do it on its first try. Neither could the Soviets.
updated 11:29 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
CNN's Nima Elbagir reflects on a harrowing trip to Liberia where she covered the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
updated 10:23 AM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
Contrary to public opinion, rats can actually save lives -- Apopo's rats have actually saved thousands.
updated 9:36 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT