Up to 1,000 juveniles cause major disruption at New Jersey mall; 5 arrested

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Thursday, December 28, 2017
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Five arrests after chaos at Cherry Hill Mall: Annie McCormick reports on Action News at 11 p.m., December 27, 2017

CHERRY HILL, N.J. -- Police say up to 1,000 juveniles caused a disruption at a New Jersey mall, leading to some arrests.

The incident began around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday near the J.C. Penney entrance of the Cherry Hill Mall located on Route 38.

Arriving officers found approximately 700 to 1,000 unaccompanied juveniles at the mall.

Shoppers described the chaos:

"I was scared just because there were so many and they were unsupervised," said Daija Qualis. "It looked like a hostile situation."

Police said it began near the J.C. Penney wing, but shoppers said it spread to the food court.

"They were shaking on the doors, kicking the doors," said Tyler Johnson. "The kids outnumbered the adults 10 to two. It was bad."

A viewer of ABC7's sister station WPVI-TV sent cellphone video of crowds milling around near the food court.

While dispersing the crowd, police made five arrests.

Four of those arrested were from Camden, New Jersey; the other was from Cherry Hill. They were arrested for charges ranging from disorderly conduct to resisting arrest.

Witnesses told WPVI-TV that police used the loud speaker to usher the kids out.

Police said no injuries or property damage were reported.

Just last week, Cherry Hill police warned parents not to let kids wander on their own at the mall.