SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Large scale physical altercations between groups of what appear to be school age teenagers have been breaking out at Stonestown Mall lately, according to Supervisor Myrna Melgar who represents District 7 where the mall is located. Melgar said the mall’s private security has been overwhelmed by the fights and that officers with the San Francisco Police Department have been deployed.
Videos of the fights have been “posted and promoted” on social media, Melgar added in a Twitter thread about the incidents. Melgar said that the mall has increased security as a result of the fights and that the SFPD Taraval Station would be increasing patrols to the area.
According to SFPD, between Wednesday, March 15 and Friday, March 17, there were three incidents where groups of juveniles entered the mall and stores in the mall and assaulted each other. “On Friday, several juveniles were pepper sprayed by other juveniles,” an SFPD spokesperson told KRON4. “Officers discovered one juvenile suffering from injuries as a result of the physical altercation. Medics were summoned and transported the victim to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.”
Supervisor Melgar also said she would be speaking with the San Francisco Unified School District to address the brawls, which have been occurring during afterschool hours, particularly on Wednesdays, which are early release days.
One video of the brawls posted to social media shows a group of teens attacking one single teenager and punching and kicking him while other kids trail behind recording the violence on their smartphones.
SFPD said it would work with Stonestown to address the problem.
“We are working closely with the shopping center officials to assess the security measures in place to address criminal activity, especially the violent acts and physical altercations,” said SFPD in a statement. “The shopping center has increased security personnel and we have increased our patrols in and around the shopping center in the hopes of stopping violent incidents from occurring.
The fights at the mall have resulted in physical injuries, according to Melgar, who advised parents to “be aware,” and “monitor your kid’s social media and follow what they are doing.”
KRON4 reached out to Stonestown Mall and received the following statement:
“We are outraged by the unacceptable behavior that occurred at Stonestown Galleria which was a clear violation of our Code of Conduct. We are working closely with school, city, and law enforcement leadership to address this issue. The safety and well-being of our guests and tenants is our top priority and we have zero tolerance for this disruptive behavior. At this time, we are directing all inquiries to the San Francisco Police Department.”