Mall of America institutes new curfew restrictions

9:13 AM, Nov 24, 2012   |    comments
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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - In the middle of what's expected to the busiest day in Mall of America's history was the Green family of Eagan in the middle of perhaps one of their busiest days.

"We do have a plan in place, said Alexis Green."We have all these little ones, so we have to have extra eyes."

They brought their two kids, their grandchild, a nephew and niece and their grandmother.

"(We're) taking advantage of Black Friday. That's what we want to do. There are a lot of good deals," added Darrym Green.

Yet a year ago, they thought twice about coming here.

That's because in December a chair-throwing brawl at the Mall of America made national headlines. It involved about 200 people, mostly teenage children. Ten people were arrested. Police called it the worst case of violence at the mall in more than 15 years.

"Some of that did have an effect on my willingness to come here," said Alexis.

But for the first time, Mall of America expanded its curfew hours this year to "Black Friday" in part because of the melee.

"There were a number of reasons that led to our expansion this year and that was one of them," said mall spokesperson Dan Jasper.

He says security turned away only a couple dozen kids who were unaccompanied by an adult Friday, that's out of about 200,000 shoppers who were expected to take advantage of the midnight opening.

"Regardless of if a few people might do something wrong, this is still the right policy to have in place because kids need to be with their parents," he said.

The curfew, which is already in affect on Friday and Saturdays, requires children younger than 16 to be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older. The same restrictions will also happen during the week between Christmas and New Year's.

"We see that and we feel safe," said Darrym Green.

His large family has no complaints.

"Unfortunately some people who have good intentions have to suffer, but it's for the greater good," said Alexis of most teens.

Because the only arguments her family witnessed Friday were about what deals they should go after next.

"They're out there. We just got to keep looking. It's a pretty big mall," said Darrym with a smile.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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