Update: Mall temporarily expands unaccompanied child-teen policy after fight, sharp noise led to evacuation


Christiana Mall continues to have a heavy police presence after a pre-Christmas fight apparently led shoppers to flee the mall.

Delaware State Police reported an apparent fight at the mall led to reports of a shooting incident.

No evidence of gunfire of gunfire was found.

As of Friday, a large number of troopers and mall security officers were informing teens and families about a policy that bars those under 18 from being unaccompanied.

Mall policy calls for shoppers who are 17 or younger must be accompanied by an adult age 21 or older on Fridays and Saturdays after 5:00 p.m. The rule was later extended from Dec. 26th the 31st from 1 p.m. until closing.

There had been reports that the mall policy was not being adequately enforced, possibly leading to incidents at the regional center.

The incident precipitating the crackdown, occurred on Dec. 21 at about8:37 p.m., when State Police received a report of shots being fired at the regional mall south of Newark.

Troopers who were already on site as part of the regularly scheduled security detail and the Christiana Mall security staff responded, along with officers from other agencies.

During the response, there were various reports of suspects at different businesses.

With the assistance of other law enforcement agencies, the building wasevacuated and secured, and traffic was diverted away from the area. A search of the building, as well as the surrounding area, was conducted and determined to be safe.

Further investigation revealed that there was a large fight. During this incident, a glass container broke and a metal sign fell to the floor.

Patrons and employees immediately began fleeing the area. There was no evidence that shots were fired. At this time, it appears that the fightin the mall led to the chaotic situation that resulted in shoppers fleeing.

Troopers also noted reports of minor injuries from victims while fleeing the mall.

This case continues to remain under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact Troop 2, Detective Ripple at (302) 365-8438.Information may also be provided by calling Delaware crime stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at http://www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com

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