An ugly brawl broke out after a flash mob goes completely wrong and empties the Mall of Louisiana last Saturday night as shoppers jammed escalators and ran for the nearest exits. Shop employees were ordered to evacuate, leaving cash and other items behind.
The fight broke out in the mall food court, where 200 teens had gathered for a flash mob.
“We think there was some sort of post on social media about a flash mob for tonight which drew such a large crowd of juveniles,” Casey Rayborn Hicks, a spokeswoman for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, said.
Hicks said deputies are investigating the events that led to the fight.
The panic was especially acute, weeks after a gunman opened fire at an Oregon mall, killing three people, including himself, and injuring one.
“Saw people running and screaming I turned around a girl told me someone has a gun I started running with them,” shopper Missy Melancon wrote on Facebook.
No injuries or weapons were reported, though nerves were rattled.
“Never been that scared in my life,” Juston D’Nea Millet wrote on Facebook. “People were running everywhere. It was like a movie, but you were in it.”
One witness said she picked up her child and ran in the opposite direction as soon as the teenagers started overturning tables in the food court.
“I grabbed my son and took off running, but all the doors to the stores were closed,” the witness said. “I ran through a side door into the parking lot and ran around trying to find my car.”
Police closed down the massive mall in the Louisiana capital so they could deal with the issues at hand. The mall remained closed for the rest of the night.
Some states are trying to pass legislation to make a “flash mob” an illegal activity.