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2,000 Teens Involved in After-Christmas Mall Brawl

Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

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One of Kentucky's largest shopping malls devolved into hours-long chaos on the day after Christmas as police tried to deal with fights involving up to 2,000 teens. NBC News reports that the trouble started at 7pm on December 26th at the Mall St. Matthews near Louisville. Police on the scene responded to "disturbances" that turned into a series of brawls between 1,000 to 2,000 shoppers ranging in age from 13 to early 20s.

"As they were responding to those disturbances, others were breaking out... Disturbances started to feed on themselves," police spokesperson Officer Dennis McDonald told NBC. "They were just overwhelmed with a number of calls for service and reports of disorder."

The mall ended up closing an hour early as 50 police officers from five different agencies were called in to help disperse the teens. "Businesses were in the process of closing their doors, steel grates, and you had juveniles that were not allowing businesses to close up — [they were] climbing on the grates," McDonald said. "This was a riot," McDonald added. "It was crazy."

Footage from that same Kentucky mall on Thanksgiving made the rounds on Twitter last month, showing a fight between two men in the packed food court. At the time, police wondered if the fight was staged for social media.