The 4:45 p.m. disturbance at the Ford City Mall in the city’s Southwest Side occurred about 45 minutes after an appearance by the band Mindless Behavior that drew about 1,000 children, mostly girls under 13, and parents, the Chicago Tribune reported. Two people suffered minor injuries.
“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,” mall senior general manager John Sarama said.
Officials quickly closed the mall but about police in about 50 squad cars who converged on the mall encountered 100 to 200 people damaging vehicles in the shopping center’s parking lot, a police report stated.
Those taken into custody were between the ages of 13 and 17, police said.
Sarama said the episode was unprecedented at his family oriented mall and left him “in a little bit of a state of shock actually.”
“What would make these youths comes here to try and cause this kind of commotion and trouble?” he said. “I don’t know. But they did have a plan in mind.”