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Independence police disperse fighting teenagers at mall

By Mike Genet mike.genet@examiner.net

Police detained one teenager after they dispersed a large scuffle Saturday evening near an entrance at Independence Center.

In a social media post Saturday, Independence Police estimated about 300 juveniles had been “causing problems and getting into multiple fights,” causing police to call for outside assistance. Blue Springs Police and Jackson County Sheriff deputies assisted in breaking up the gathering at the mall.

According to police, about 6 p.m. they reported small groups of juveniles gathering in various spots, and by 7 p.m. they reported a large fight near one entrance. Officers held one female juvenile for interfering with police, before she was released to a parent, with a pending youth court appearance.

Police called the incident “short-lived” with no shooting and no reported injuries.

The mall’s current closing time for Saturdays is 7 p.m.

In its social media post, Independence Police asked parents to pick up their children at the mall. A spokesperson later said they know some juveniles take an Uber or taxi ride to the mall without parental supervision.

“We are to the point of zero tolerance regarding incidents at the Independence Center,” police wrote. “This is so that we can ensure everyone's safety and promote a positive shopping experience for all.”

Independence Police maintains a small substation at the mall with two full-time officers – one officer during days and another more in the evenings. The mall also employs off-duty officers.