DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — Twenty people have now charged in a huge brawl at a local mall, and some of the suspects are as young as 12 years old.
Police say as many as 200 teens and young adults were part of a fight at Arbor Place Mall in Douglasville on Sept. 3.
Police say they are scouring video and even interviewing school employees to ID those involved.
On Tuesday, the Douglasville police chief joined other officials in expressing anger at the behavior and warned of consequences.
“We will not tolerate it in the least,” Douglasville Police Chief Gary Sparks said in a news conference Tuesday.
He said among the 20 people arrested in the fight, 19 are kids ages 12 to 17.
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Social media video of the chaos shows teens and young adults fighting, screaming and running through Arbor Place Mall.
“Mind you, we are not finished yet,” Sparks said. “We’re going to keep on until we get everyone who was involved in this incident.”
The chief said the charges against the teens include disorderly conduct, affray and simple battery.
Many of those involved in the violence, he said, are members of gangs.
It’s unclear exactly what started the fight, but he says with the help of social media sites like Tik Tok, it mushroomed out of control.
“Some of these people go there as a group and get pulled into it, and it’s like animalistic behavior. When one person starts something, everybody else jumps in,” Sparks said.
Police said as many as 200 people were involved in the melee, which forced the mall to close early.
Douglas County District Attorney Dalia Racine urges parents to be vigilant when it comes to their children’s use of social media.
“We are embracing this culture of violence that is prolific in our social media, and we have got to talk to our kids to change that narrative,” Racine said.
Sparks said his investigators are relentless in tracking down the troublemakers from that night.
“As we make more identifications, we’re going to make more arrests. So you can run, but you cannot hide,” Sparks said.
Channel 2 Action News spoke with a mall spokesperson a few days after the fight.
She called it an isolated incident and said that the mall has an excellent relationship with Douglasville police.
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