Social Media Post May Have Sparked Mall Melee

LAUDERHILL (CBS4) — Call it the brawl at the mall. Police believe a posting on a social media website drew at least 200 teenagers to the Lauderhill Mall around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday to participate in a melee.

“It was just a whole big ol’ chaos right here in the Lauderhill Mall,” said Rodney Jones, who cuts hair at the mall and witnessed the incident.

In cellphone video obtained by CBS 4 News, you can see a group of teens gathering near the mall entrance.

As the crowd pushed inside, someone used a large traffic cone to hit someone.

Inside the mall teens squared off to fight while a security officer walked by.

The video shows teens running and screaming through the mall.

By the end of the video at least one person appeared to be placed in handcuffs but police say no one was actually arrested.

Witnesses say they’d never seen anything like it.

“People was getting hit by cones,” said Frank Francis. “Like fighting, like a brawl.”

Francis — and other witnesses — said the trouble began at a park across from the mall, spilled into the mall parking lot then inside.

It all started with a message on Facebook or Twitter about something going down at the Lauderhill Mall according to police.

Witnesses heard something similar.

“I just heard that anybody that had beef with each other is supposed to come over here and fight,” Francis said.

Lauderhill Police arrived with their SWAT team and the Broward Sheriff’s Office and several other police agencies also pitched in to help.

K-9’s and heavy artillery were on full display as the crowd dispersed.

Police tell us that one teen suffered a minor injury and it does not appear that any weapons were used in the brawl.

Lauderhill Police remained on scene into the evening to make sure no violence flared up.

“We’re not going to tolerate that kind of activity,” Lt. Michael Butkus said.

Investigators told CBS 4 News they do not anticipate any criminal charges being filed in the brawl.

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