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Large fight turns to melee at Mall of America

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Brainerd Dispatch
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Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — A moving melee involving scores of juveniles at the Mall of America took police and mall security more than an hour to control Monday as shoppers packed the sprawling shopping center the day after Christmas, a mall official said.

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The incident began as a fight involving about 50 juveniles in a food court about 4:20 p.m., mall spokeswoman Bridget Jewell told the Star Tribune (http://bit.ly/vTaYKd ). Then, dozens of young people swarmed through the mall, some grabbing items from shoppers and kiosks as many mall visitors ran into stores to get out of the way, witnesses said.

"It looked like they were trying to pull people's stuff out of their bags," said shopper Makenzie Shofner, 15, of Maple Plain. "My heart was racing."

Shofner's friend, 16-year-old Hannah Betz of Maple Plain, said it was incredibly loud.

"I'm used to some of the screaming because this is the Mall of America," which has amusement park rides, she said. "But this was a different kind of screaming."

Police brought it under control about 5:30 p.m.

Mall officials said there were no lockdowns, no one was hurt and no weapons were involved. However, some stores did close their internal entrances to the mall during the incident.

___

Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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