AURORA, Ill. -- Eight juveniles ranging in age from 13 to 17 have been charged in connection with the large disturbance at Fox Valley Mall in Aurora Monday night, as the Aurora Police Department reaches out to police departments around the country where similar mall fights happened, searching social media to try and determine whether it was all a coordinated stunt.
All of the charges lodged are misdemeanors but police are not ruling out enhancing them to felonies. They also say more arrests are possible. The juveniles charged are:
- A 17-year-old girl charged with battery and resisting police;
- A 15-year-old girl charged with resisting police and disorderly conduct;
- Two females, ages 13 and 15, and a 15-year-old male charged with battery;
- Two 14-year-old boys and a 16-year-old girl charged with obstructing police.
All of the juveniles are Aurora residents except for the 15-year-old girl charged with resisting and disorderly conduct. She lives in North Aurora.
On Monday night, Aurora police were called by mall security after they observed a large group of teenagers gathering in the food court area. Several officers arrived on the scene including a police sergeant who was working an extra duty detail job at the time, and they, along with mall security, told the youths to disperse. Shortly thereafter, a large fight broke out followed by several smaller altercations.
While trying to break up the larger fight, the Aurora police sergeant and a mall security employee were both battered. The disturbance quickly escalated as the crowd refused to obey police and security personnel orders with some of the teens throwing drinks and other items.
With more than 1,000 patrons in the common area and other patrons shopping throughout the facility, Aurora police made the decision to evacuate and close the mall for the safety of everyone on the premises. Seven neighboring police agencies responded, and it took about 75 officers to restore order. Luckily, no one involved in the altercations, including police and mall security, required immediate medical attention. Also, no mall patrons were injured.
In a statement, the Fox Valley Mall said:
The safety and security of our guests, employees, and tenants at fox valley mall is always our top priority. We are thankful to apd for taking swift and immediate measures after the disturbance last night. While we are not able to speak about specific security measures, please know that we work close with local and national law enforcement on all matters relating to mall safety.
Aurora police continue to investigate what role social media may have played in organizing the disturbance and what connection the disturbance may have to other similar incidents that were reported in several cities across the nation. The motive behind the disturbance is not yet known.
Anyone with information is asked to call Aurora Police Investigations at 630-256-5500 or Aurora Area Crime Stoppers at 630-892-1000.
Aurora Police continue to work closely with Fox Valley Mall security to assure the safety of businesses and patrons. For the next few days, Aurora police will have extra officers patrolling outside and inside the mall. The mall was open as usual Tuesday.