CHICAGO (CBS) – An appearance by the boy band Mindless Behavior on Saturday afternoon was followed by a youth disturbance that closed Ford City Mall and left at least two people with minor injuries.
Chicago police say teens became disruptive in connection with the scheduled appearance of the tween idols, but mall officials insisted the two events were unrelated.
John Sarama, senior general manager of Ford City Mall, says members of Mindless Behavior finished their two-hour meet-and-greet with fans around 4 p.m. and left. The "family event" was attended by about 1,000 people, mostly mothers and girls, he said.
19 Arrested In Ford City Melee
Trouble started at 4:45 p.m., he said, when a group of "older youths" entered the mall and started causing trouble by yelling, running and using foul language. There was minimal damage inside the mall, he said.
"We were lucky we had Chicago police on the premises. They observed what was going on. It was their directive to close the mall early," Samara said.
Witnesses told CBS 2 that fights broke out inside the mall and security was not able to control the situation, prompting police to respond. They say the fighting spilled out into the parking lot, where some vehicles were vandalized.
The Chicago Fire Department said two people, an adult bus driver and a juvenile, were transported in good condition to nearby hospitals, and the CTA temporarily suspended bus service around the mall.
Chicago police said there were multiple arrests, but that offenders likely would be charged with misdemeanors.
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