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Disturbance at Westroads Mall - Who's Responsible for the Brawl?

Multiple fights broke out throughout the mall
Posted at 6:22 PM, Dec 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-27 19:22:35-05

OMAHA, Neb. — Thursday evening mayhem erupted at Westroads Mall in Omaha. Multiple fights were reported inside the mall, mostly involving young teens.

In videos going around on social media, mall security is seen struggling to contain the fights and get the situation under control. Westroads Mall Senior General Manager Jim Sadler says that the mall was thankful for the help from the Omaha Police Department, but wouldn't say why the situation wasn't better handled from mall security.

"We never disclose details of our security protocols because doing so could compromise it's effectiveness," Sadler said.

The disturbances then continued outside the mall.

"The main disturbance was inside Westroads and when officers arrived and assisted security in moving everyone outside, there was some disturbance and refusal to leave still going on in the parking lot," Omaha Police Officer Joe Nickerson said.

When teens refused to leave the area outside, OPD resorted to using pepper balls - pellets that irritate the skin and eyes similar to pepper spray.

"Omaha police officers did deploy some pepper balls outside in the parking lot to get the crowds to disperse," Officer Nickerson said.

During the disturbance, people at the mall were told to evacuate. Luckily, no serious injuries were reported.

"We strive everyday to create a safe, peaceful environment for our community and our highest priority is the security and well-being of our guests," Officer Nickerson said.

After the commotion, 19-year-old Latrail Clark was cited for disorderly conduct. Four other teens were taken into custody and later released.

"There were five individuals who were cited for varying offenses from disorderly conduct to assault. But obviously it was a much larger group than that was involved in the disturbance," Officer Nickerson said.

Police say at Westroads Mall, these types of disturbances involving young teens is nothing new.

"We have responded to that mall for disturbances before, it tends to be a popular hangout for youth and often times unsupervised youth, if they've got nothing else to do, get into horseplay, then it escalates into other things. It sounds like in this situation that's what it was," Officer Nickerson said.

Our sister station WCPO in Cincinnati, Ohio also reported on a Thursday night brawl at a local mall, this incident was seemingly organized beforehand on social media and escalated once crowds arrived.

Police do not know at this time if the Westroads Mall incident was preplanned.

Westroads Mall does not have a curfew, only regular business hours. When our crews stopped by the mall on Friday, mall security was actively patrolling the area.