Charges Upgraded, Two More Teens Charged in Massive Hamilton Mall Brawl
Charges have been upgraded for the seven people that were arrested following last weekend's brawl at Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing and two more teens have been charged.
Hamilton Township Police say a 15-year-old boy from Atlantic City another from Mays Landing have been charged with disorderly conduct, participating in a riot, and criminal mischief.
Cops say additional charges of participating in a riot and criminal mischief have also been filed against all juveniles and adults who were charged last Saturday night, which includes 18-year-old Amir Vaughn and 18-year-old Theron Parrish-Jordan, who were initially charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
In a press release, Hamilton Township Police Chief Stacy Tappeiner said,
The incident at the Hamilton Mall on June 2nd involving unsupervised teenagers was a situation that is unacceptable in our community. Law abiding store owners, store employees, families, and security personnel were all put at risk by teenagers engaged in criminal conduct. Each one of us, as parents and guardians, has a legal responsibility to know where our children are and what they are doing. Parents and guardians should not be dropping off their children unsupervised at retail shopping centers, nor should they allow children to take transit buses to shopping centers unsupervised.
On the evening of June 2nd, as many as 200 young adults began to fight in the mall, mainly in the food court area. As police moved in to remove the food court group, teens began to throw chairs, food, and other things at officers, as smaller groups began to fight among themselves, according to police.
Prior to the fight at the mall, there was also a fight that occurred in the area of Primrose Court, which is believed to be related to the incident that occurred at the mall.
Mall spokeswoman Crystal Rodriquez said she confident that the mall remains a safe, family destination even though this isn't the first altercation at the mall. "We have a top-notch, fully staffed security team that is here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We also bring in two or three Township of Hamilton police officer here on Friday and Saturday for an added measure of security," Rodriquez said.
Police say their investigation is still ongoing and any person who is identified as being involved in either the Primrose Court or the Hamilton Mall incidents will be charged accordingly. Anyone with information is asked to contact Hamilton Township Police at (609) 625-2700.
With prior reporting from Dan Alexander, Joe Kelly