Police anticipated the teenagers and created a blockade to keep the 200-odd youths from entering the mall, but, according to a Philadelphia police statement, "approximately (6) separate groups of (15) juveniles were able to make their way into the food court and were refusing to leave while approximately (30) of the juveniles were engaged in fighting." Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told NBC Philadelphia that the teens "started running around, yelling and screaming and acting disorderly."
Anthony Clark, a mall employee, told WPVI that the youths "were pelting cops with fountain sodas and all kinds of trash." Another witness, who wished to remain anonymous, said that they saw "multiple fights" break out. The police reacted to the rioters and swiftly broke them up, but not before one of the offenders, according to a report, "grabbed [an] officer around his neck and tried to wrestle the officer down to the ground while ripping the officer's patrol jacket and punching the officer in his head while yelling, 'F--- the Police!'"
The four juveniles arrested were charged with aggravated assault, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct-fighting and other crimes. After his arrest, one of the offenders "informed Police that when he returned to school, he was going to smack every white kid in the face since it was a white cop that locked him up." The mall was shut down for about two hours before the mob dispersed and order was restored.
Fearing more violence, Philadelphia police have assigned a detail to the mall to protect employees and shoppers. "It wouldn't make any sense for these juveniles to return because they're going to be turned away, they're going to be dispersed immediately," Small said. The general manager of Philadelphia Mills has banned unaccompanied minors from the premises until further notice.
Monday, several malls across the United States were rocked by fights, stampedes, and riots. Most of the perpetrators were teenagers, and some police representatives speculated publicly that the chaos was coordinated beforehand.