A Brooklyn mall has lifted its short-lived policy banning minors from entering the shopping center without a guardian, instituted after a large brawl involving hundreds of teens broke out on the day after Christmas.
Kings Plaza Mall officials say teens are "now welcome without an escort," but emphasized that "fighting and other disturbing behavior will not be tolerated."
The policy went into effect Friday, a day after the melee. Video posted to social media sites showed hundreds of teenagers scuffling with police and mall security, some violently. Bystanders also appeared to get caught up in the apparent roughhousing as they gather to watch or run from the teens.
"It was just chaos. Everybody was just running from different directions, everyone was getting bumped, people was falling," said Keishawn Gibson, a 17-year-old witnesses who shot video of the brawl on his cell phone. "It was madness."
It's not clear what sparked the fight, but some reports indicate it was organized on social media.
The mall was shut down temporarily as police responded, and the NYPD helped disperse crowds. No arrests were made and no reports of any stolen items or injuries were filed with police.
Security officers started telling customers Friday that the mall was banning anyone under 18 from entering without an adult. Mall officials announced Sunday the policy was being reversed.
"I think it's a good thing that they opened the mall back to teenagers because it lets them get back to shopping and doing things they really like to do," Gibson said.
The NYPD also said it will be deploying additional officers to prevent similar incidents in the future. A mall spokeswoman said: "We will continue to work with NYPD to ensure our code of conduct is being enforced."