ROSEVILLE, Minn. -- Police say charges are expected early this week involving a stabbing and large fight inside the Rosedale Center mall Saturday night that left a 16-year-old in critical condition.
Lt. Lorne Rosand says Roseville police officers got a call at 7:48 p.m. on Saturday after someone reported 12 people were fighting inside Rosedale Center near Herberger's. The caller told police the people fighting were using chairs as weapons.
"It was just the chaos of 12 guys fighting, using massage chairs as bats and breaking doors. (There were) heads being smashed against poles and then everybody fled when the cops came," Adam Warhol said. Warhol works at a kiosk a few feet away from where the first fight started.
The first officers on the scene found a large group of at least 20 youths fighting. As more officers arrived, the group started to break up. Rosand says officers then found an 18-year-old man with severe lacerations to his face.
Investigators then started looking for suspects involved in the fight. Rosand says they also asked for more officers because the teens and young adults were refusing to obey police orders to clear the area.
Around the same time, police got reports of more fights breaking out inside the mall. To help deal with the fights, officers asked for two K9 units from the Roseville Police Department and one from Ramsey County.
Rosand says as officers started to get the youths out of the mall, they got a call about a stabbing in the mall near the entrance to Ruby Tuesday's restaurant. Because of the earlier fights, police officers asked the Rosedale Center security officers to start locking all mall exterior doors and asking mall visitors to leave.
Rosand says the decision to lock the malls outside doors and ask people to leave was made in the interest of public safety to keep anyone else from entering the mall and to keep any of the suspects who had left the mall from getting back in.
Outside of Ruby Tuesday's, officers found a 16-year-old boy with stab wounds to his back. Police say he identified his attacker before he was hospitalized. He remains in critical condition.
"I really couldn't believe what was happening, I'd never seen anything like that in the mall," Warhol remarked. Other store managers tell KARE 11 they have never seen anything remotely close to this incident at the shopping center.
Rollin Hunsicker, the center's General Manager, released a statement Sunday afternoon, saying, in part: "We have recently increased our security as a precautionary measure, and are working closely with the local authorities to determine what else we can do to deter this type of activity."
Rosand says officers arrested a 17-year-old St. Paul boy for the stabbing. He was arrested around 8:30 and then booked into the Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center for second degree assault.
Rosand says the early investigation suggests the 17-year-old boy may have been responsible for assaulting both the 18-year-old and 16-year-old victims. The 18-year-old man is in stable condition.
Police have not released the names of the teens or the hospitals where they were treated. They also don't know if the suspect knew either of his victims or what his motive may have been.
Rosand says if anyone witnessed these attacks or has information about the case they can call the Roseville Police Department at 651-767-0640 and ask to speak with a police supervisor.
(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)