At about 6:00pm Saturday night the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office responded to the Mall of Louisiana in reference to a large fight in the food court area. There were reports of fighting outside of the mall as well.
Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Casey Rayborn-Hicks said the initial report stated that over 200 juveniles were dispersed to various areas both inside and outside of the mall. Deputies say the whole ordeal may have been fueled by the use of social media posts which were organizing a flash mob at the mall, however no one close to the investigation has been able to verify that.
The Louisiana State Police and Baton Rouge Police Dept. were dispatched to assist the Sheriff’s Office with the large amounts of traffic associated with the crowds. Contraflow was established on Bluebonnet Blvd. in front of the mall to help empty the mall parking lot.
Law enforcement rounded up and directed all the juveniles that were involved to BJ’s Brewhouse and Bravo, 2 restaurants that sit behind the mall, and made them contact their parents or guardians for rides home.
According to Hicks there were no injuries and no weapons involved in the incident even though some callers may have indicated that guns were involved.
Up to 10 could face charges when the investigation is complete, Hicks said.
The fight and subsequent news reports set off a flurry of social media related posts on facebook and twitter questioning the safety of the Mall of Louisiana. Several comments implied that people might feel safer shopping at Cortana Mall than the Mall of Louisiana It was nearly one year ago to the day that 2 people were injured in a shooting at the Mall of Louisiana on January 7th, 2012. Comparatively it has been quite awhile since any major incidents have occurred at Cortana Mall.
The Mall of Louisiana was closed early due to the fight.
As of 8:00pm on Sunday, a total of 6 teens had been arrested for disturbing the peace by fistic encounter, remaining after forbidden, interfering with a police investigation, simple battery and resisting an officer. One adult was also arrested because of 2 outstanding felony warrants when she came to pick up her two sons, both of whom were arrested. These were the individuals that investigators had probable cause for arrest.
Investigators are still looking into the matter and are asking anyone with information to contact EBRSO at 389-5000 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 344-STOP.