Archive for the tag 'riots'

brawlA group of Kings Plaza Mall security guards are on suspension pending an investigation after video surfaced showing them punching and kicking a teen in what they say was an attempt to control a brewing brawl.

Cell phone footage recorded on Sunday at around 4:30pm appears to show a group of security guards pinning a teen to the ground and punching him repeatedly in the face.

ABC News reports:

In the video, at least four mall security guards are seen trying to subdue a 16-year old boy, and not just tackling him.

The boy is punched and kicked and grabbed by the throat, by grown men more than twice his age.

“They threw him on the floor, they choked him, about three of them that actually choked him, and they were kicking him in the head,” said eyewitness Shaunternette Melton.

But the video does not show the entire episode. Police say the teen, identified as Christopher Henry, had just assaulted one of the guards after he had been asked repeatedly to leave the mall.

WPIX11 reports that Henry and another teen were arguing with each other. The security team said that the 39-year-old guard approached Henry and repeatedly asked him to leave. Instead, Henry refused and allegedly jumped on the guard and punched and kicked him. Other guards responded and took Henry into custody.

Mall officials released the following statement:

We find the images captured in the video disturbing. We are cooperating with law enforcement and AlliedBarton Security Services, who employs the security officers involved, to fully investigate the entire incident so that appropriate action can be taken.

AlliedBarton Security Services, the contractor that provides security to the mall, also issued a statement:

AlliedBarton Security Services shares the community’s concern about the video and the events shown,” the statement read. “We are investigating what is shown in the video, as well as the events that occurred before the video began. The security officers involved have been suspended pending investigation. AlliedBarton’s responsibilities at Kings Plaza Mall are to help create and maintain a safe and secure environment. It is imperative that these duties be conducted in a safe and respectful manner and we accept nothing less from our teams.

NBC New York reports that the teen was arrested and charged with assault, trespassing and disorderly conduct.

He has previous arrests for petit larceny, intent to defraud the transit system, and robbery. Other arrests are sealed due to his age.

Though security insists that the teen has a history of bad behavior in the mall, in addition to the arrests listed above, activists say that the response was excessive.

“Irrespective of what led into this, the actions of those security guards in this community is appalling, and that can’t be tolerated,” said activist Tony Herbert. “We can’t tell these kids to act civil and professional in society when those who have the authority and are trained professionally can’t do the same.”

The mall has been the scene of several violent brawls between large groups of teens, including a December incident that saw as many as 500 teens screaming and fighting in the shopping center. Another “teen riot” occurred in February with approximately 100 teens, which led to arrests. Neighbors say there have been at least two other incidents.

Members of local community groups have put pressure on the NYPD and the mall’s security to bring the situation under control.

Sources: NBC New York, News 12, ABC News, CBS News.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

We’re hearing from tipsters at Kings Plaza (5100 Kings Plaza) that there’s heavy police presence at the mall in response to another flash mob, with some on social media saying that stores may again be shut down.

One Twitter user counted as many as 14 NYPD vehicles near the entrances:

A Facebook user writes that police helicopters are also hovering in the area, and people are scrambling:

havie

At least one person using Google+ claims the mob was organized on social media:

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One tipster is calling it a riot, and said the stores are closing up as was done during an incident a few weeks ago. She left to avoid being locked into a store.

Apparently it’s causing problems for commuters trying to get past the mall:

sabrina

The whole incident echoes the situation on December 26. The mall’s chief of security told Sheepshead Bites at the time that approximately 500 teenagers became rowdy, forcing security to call for backup from the NYPD and to shutter the mall for two hours until order was restored.

Then, as now, students had off from school.

No arrests were made in the December incident, and police from the 63rd Precinct sent an e-mail to community leaders calling the perpetrators “rambunctious teens acting like children,” but noted that there were “no reports of injuries, larcenies or property damage.”

That incident was also reported to have been “promoted” in advance on social media.

The mall was also the scene of a brazen mid-day smash-and-grab jewelry heist last week.

UPDATE (6:49 p.m.): Cops took heat from local elected officials after the previous incidents for not making any arrests. If our tipster is right, officers took the hint and are preparing to detain some of the offenders:

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(“Tons and tons” is in response to our question about how many teens appeared to be involved.)

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

ONLY ON SHEEPSHEAD BITES: Chaos overtook Kings Plaza Mall (5100 Kings Plaza) yesterday afternoon when approximately 500 teenagers became rowdy, causing security officials to call the police and temporarily shutter the mall for at least two hours to restore order.

The teens, who were off from school for winter break, flooded the mall, and security officials there became concerned for patrons’ safety when the kids became boisterous around 5:30 p.m., according to Kings Plaza’s head of security.

“They were just rowdy, they weren’t doing much,” the mall’s security chief told Sheepshead Bites this morning. “We called the police department and the police department escorted them in and out.”

The NYPD has not returned calls for comment about the incident, but the 63rd Precinct’s community affairs unit sent out the following e-mail, obtained by Sheepshead Bites, to community leaders this morning:

I received several phone calls last night regarding Kings Plaza…so I want to dispel any rumors you may or may not have heard.  We had a group of rambunctious teens acting like children in the mall last night.  We already had officers in the Mall at the time.  We took steps to ensure the safety of everyone in the mall and expelled the kids from the mall.  There were no reports of any injuries, larcenies, or property damaged.  Therefore there were no arrests made.

While rumors abounded on social media that a riot and gang disputes had caused the mall to close, mall security confirmed that there was no damage or theft during the incident, and no one including personnel was injured. Video of altercations with police and mall security found their way to Facebook and Twitter late in the day, including the video below showing teens clashing with what appears to be police officers from the 63rd Precinct.

Security officials also said the mall was never officially closed, although they did temporarily restrict access until the kids were ejected, and order was restored at approximately 8:00 p.m. – about an hour and a half before its usual closing time. Mall security said some businesses chose to stay closed the remainder of the day.

“Some of them kept their gate down and had their registers closed. We didn’t close. The mall was in business,” the security boss said.