Mall Riot Not Caused By "Mindless Behavior": Officials Say Boy Band Not To Blame For Chicago Mall Melee That Caused 2 Injuries, 19 Arrests [VIDEO]
By Jesse Lent | February 25, 2013 09:35 PM EST
The mall riot that injured two and led to 19 arrests on Chicago's Southwest Side on Saturday, was not caused by the boy band Mindless Behavior, mall officials say.
Ford City Mall Senior General Manager John Sarama told the Chicago Tribune that a Saturday autograph signing in the food court by Mindless Behavior from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to promote their new album "All Around The World" was not the cause of the mall riot that took place 45 minutes later.
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"A group of older youths came into the mall with the intent of causing havoc and chaos and were running through the mall, screaming, yelling and so forth," Sarama said.
According to the mall senior general manager, the Mindless Behavior signing was comprised of roughly 1,000 parents and children between the ages of six and 12 who left promptly after the signing at 4 p.m. The mall riot was allegedly a giant crowd of teens.
"Ford City is a family-oriented mall," Sarama said. "We have not had an incident like this [in the past], and I'm still in a little bit of a state of shock actually.
The rioting crowd of teens ran through the mall screaming, according to officials.
Although police shut the mall 20 minutes later, the riot continued out to the mall parking lot where officers encountered 100 to 200 people damaging vehicles, according to the police report.
According to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Chief Joe Roccasalva, two people were taken to hospitals, a bus driver and a "kid."
The Chicago Transit Authority bus driver was taken to Holy Cross Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries.
The minor was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, and was also reported to be in good condition.
Roughly 50 police cars and a helicopter rushed to the scene of the mall riot early Saturday evening. The incident stopped traffic as the riotous teens jumped onto the hoods of cars and ignored police demands to cease.
Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro reports the mall riot resulted in 19 arrests of teens between the ages of 13 and 18.
One teen was charged with criminal trespassing, another with battery. The remaining 17 were charged with mob action.
All charges are misdemeanors according to Alfaro.
"What would make these youths come here to try and cause this kind of commotion and trouble?" Sarama asked. "I don't know. But they did have a plan in mind."
Watch amateur video of the Chicago mall riot:
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