Nineteen teenagers have been arrested following a frightening disturbance that shut down a Chicago shopping mall and left two people with minor injuries.
Chicago police spokeswoman Laura Kubiak says the teens arrested Saturday were males and females ranging in age from ages 13 to 18. Mall general manager John Sarama said the chaos involved hundreds of “somewhat organized” youth.
“It’s like a mob scene, just jumping on cars, breaking windows,” witness Moses Khativ told ABC7/WLS.
Most are charged with misdemeanor mob action, but a 16-year-old has been charged with battery of a mall security guard who was trying to evacuate the mall.
“I left my sign outside the door where it has a logo and everything, and they picked that up and threw it at people,” mall employee Jasmine Murillo said. “They were throwing it at security, police, kids, anything. Anything they found, they picked up and started throwing.”
One male teen reportedly threw a wad of small bills numbering about $100 in total, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“I don’t understand what the purpose of that was other than it caused a bit more commotion,” Sarama commented.
Video purporting to show the flash mob highlights a massive group of teens blocking traffic and generally wreaking havoc outside. Around 25 seconds in, the camera zooms in on a young man holding a chair.
“Throw that bi***! Throw that bi***!” someone urges him over and over. Within seconds, the young man throws the chair at the back window of a moving vehicle, shattering the glass:
“Let’s get it! Let’s get it!” the cameraman appears to yell after the glass shatters. Some in the crowd cheer on the young criminal, but most just keep walking.
According to ABC7 the destructive group dispersed from the mall to other local businesses, where they continued to cause a disturbance.
Ford City Mall senior general manager John Sarama says the incident wasn’t related to an appearance by the boy band “Mindless Behavior,” which ended about 45 minutes earlier. But some of the bystanders thought the events were at least somewhat connected.
“It’s horrible,” Murillo added. “It’s like young kids, you get an opportunity to meet one of your favorite stars, and look at how you react to that.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.