Arlington Parks Mall Curfew for Youth Begins

IDs will be checked and those are 18 will not be allowed in the mall unless they're with an adult

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A new youth curfew took effect Friday at the Parks Mall in Arlington after a fight broke out Saturday.

The fight was recorded on cell phone video that circulated widely on social media.

Arlington police said nine people were detained after the fight.

Parks Mall spokesperson Lindsay Kahn said the curfew that will be in effect for Friday and Saturday afternoons and evenings was a last resort.

“We know not all unsupervised kids are disruptive,” Kahn said.

Starting at 2 p.m. Friday, a statement from the mall said young people would be asked to show identification. Those over 18 would be asked to wear wristbands to show they had been checked. Those under 18 would be allowed in groups of no more than four with an adult accompanying them.

Mall officials would not allow media inside to take pictures or speak with visitors.

Adults outside the mall Friday had mixed feelings about the curfew.

“You got kids. You got adults and everyone acting like kids. So what can you expect from malls and areas like this,” 21-year old visitor Adrian Rodriguez said.

His 23-year old girlfriend Elizabeth Sanchez agreed adult supervision might be OK to help boost safety.

“I sometimes come here with my little sisters and I think, to be fair, it’s kind of a good thing, but it can go both ways,” she said.

Frankie Bernard said he visited the mall as an unsupervised teen and supported kids doing the same.

“Sometimes kids can get out of control but I also see it from the parents side of wanting to let their kids who are responsible, hang out by themselves and not have to be there guarding them. So, I can see it from both sides,” Bernard said.

Visitor Anthony Sims felt a youth curfew is going too far for visiting the mall as he did it unsupervised.

“There was fights when we were younger. That's what you've got security for. Let them do their job. They get paid right?” said mall visitor Anthony Sims.

Arlington police have been to the Parks Mall for more serious violence over the years. 

In 2017, an officer shot a man who pulled a BB gun after making threats. In 2016, three people were detained after a shooting inside the mall.

Police said officers have been called to the Parks Mall 50 times so far since Jan. 1, mostly for shoplifting.

“I'm pretty sure there's a lot of theft though. There's a lot of stuff being stolen out of there so they want to cut back on that,” Sims said.

Mall security was clearly visible patrolling the parking lot and posed outside entrances.

Arlington Police officers were seen at the mall, too, some of them hired off-duty as additional mall security, a police spokesman said.

There were no reports of violence at the Parks Mall Friday.

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