On Saturday, 19 teens between the ages of 13 and 18 were arrested by the police after a chaos involving 100 to 200 young people, 50 police squad cars, and a helicopter, occurred at Ford City Mall on the Southwest Side in Chicago.
On Feb. 24, 2013, the Chicago Tribune reported that "A group of older youths came into the mall with the intent of causing havoc and chaos and were running through the mall, screaming, yelling and so forth."
From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., members of the teen band Mindless Behavior had been at the mall’s food court to promote their new release of “All Around the World.” According to the mall’s general senior manager, about 1,000 parents and teens “between the ages of 6 and 13” had come to Mindful Behavior’s autograph signing.
At around 4:45 p.m., 45 minutes after the band had left, the chaos began. The mall’s security staff immediately contacted the police department and had the mall closed by 5 p.m.
After the closure of the mall, between 100 to 200 young people continued their chaotic behavior outside in the mall’s parking lot by damaging vehicles, jumping on parked and moving cars, and bringing traffic to a standstill. Fifty police squad cars and a helicopter responded to the chaotic scene while the young people ignored police orders "to disperse."
Buses near the shopping mall had to be rerouted and one Chicago bus driver had to be taken to the hospital after suffering minor injuries. The second injury during the chaos involved a young person who also had to be taken to the hospital for minor injuries.
Nineteen people were arrested at the mall. “One teenager was charged with battery, and another was charged with criminal trespassing, Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said. The 17 remaining teens were charged with mob action. All the charges are misdemeanors.“
Similar to the mall officials who are “at a loss” trying to understand what happened, many people are wondering why 100 to 200 young people would have nothing better to do on a Saturday than to cause this kind of “commotion and trouble” in a mall that is a family-oriented place. Is the only explanation that it is just merely mindless behavior?