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Olszewski, Hyatt Say Police Will Have Increased Presence Following Towson Town Center Brawl

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) --  Baltimore County police have an increased presence following a brawl at Towson Town Center last weekend, and officials are working with malls across the county to share more information, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski and Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said Friday.

"While we believe this disturbance was an anomaly, let me be clear, we will not allow this to become the norm," Olszewski said.

Over the past few months, the seat of Baltimore County has seen a rash of violence, including multiple shootings in the area. Most recently, there was the Towson Town Center brawl.

Two officers and a mall security guard suffered minor injuries. A member of the mall security team was also injured. Police arrested six juveniles on charges ranging from assault to disorderly conduct. Those involved were between the ages of 12 and 17.

Hyatt said Friday the officers and security guard were trying to force a mall rule that anyone age 17 and younger be accompanied by an adult after 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Management and security at malls and large shopping centers in the county have access to police precinct commanders to share information about planned disruptions, spontaneous events and any security concerns, Hyatt said.

Police will be working with business owners to "improve our collective communication and response strategies," she said.

Detectives are still reviewing video of the Towson Town Center incident to identify other individuals who may have been involved in criminal activity.

Both Olszewski and Hyatt pledged to pursue and prosecute law-breakers in the county.

"We expect everyone, including our young people ,to behave appropriately in our communities, and most young people have been doing the right thing, but those who cause fights and disturbances should be and will be held accountable," the county executive said. "We will not tolerate unlawful behavior of any kind in the Towson Town Center, in Towson or in any Baltimore County community."

Last month, Towson University announced it will fund a grant awarded to Baltimore County Police as part of an effort to shore up security and the police presence in Towson.

In January, 23-year-old Towson University student Ikemefuna Eguh was shot and killed in the unit block of West Susquehanna Avenue.

Not long after that, detectives began looking into gunfire that occurred inside of Altus Towson Row, an apartment building tailored toward Towson University students. Several shell casings were found but no victims.

In November 2021, a Morgan State University Student was shot and killed on Kenilworth Drive in Towson after what police have described as a drug deal turned robbery.

In September 2021, three people including a student were shot at a non-sanctioned gathering on Towson's campus. A university police officer was suspended in the aftermath of the triple shooting.

Capt. Deanna L. Chemelli, commander of the police department's 6th precinct, which includes Towson, said police have an entertainment squad that is out on foot in the town's bar district from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Chemelli said officers were right in front of the Rec Room earlier this month when shots were fired.

"A lot of people ran away from the gunfire; our officers ran towards it," she said.  "And they did in fact apprehend that suspect that evening, and he was charged accordingly."

She commended businesses in the area of the shooting for ushering patrons indoors to safety.

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