Police arrested 26 young people during a disturbance at Eastpoint Mall on Sunday night after a carnival at the Baltimore County shopping complex was shut down.
Sometime before 6 p.m., Jolly Shows Spring Carnival and mall officials made the call to close the carnival for the evening, Baltimore County police spokesman Shawn Vinson said at a news conference at the scene Sunday.
Mall ownership did not immediately return a request for comment Monday. A message left with Jolly Shows was not immediately returned Monday.
Carnival officials were “overwhelmed by the number of people that were trying to get in,” Vinson said. After the carnival was shut down, a crowd of about 1,000 people made its way through the mall parking lot and into neighborhoods, he added.
Police received several calls about the disturbance around 6 p.m., Vinson said, and about 50 officers from Baltimore County and state police responded.
Some fights broke out, Vinson said, and the 26 people who were arrested were charged as juveniles with disorderly conduct. Vinson said there were no injuries.
By 9 p.m., groups of teenagers could be seen getting ride-sharing services and boarding buses to leave the area. Vinson said the Maryland Transit Administration brought buses to help disperse the crowd. The scene was largely clear by 9:30 p.m., with just the large police presence blocking off some roads leading to the mall.
He said the mall is expected to open as usual Monday.
The carnival was scheduled to end Sunday night at 11 p.m., according to Jolly Shows’ website.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. released a statement Sunday saying: “Everyone deserves to be and feel safe in Baltimore County. The recent event at Eastpoint Mall, the second in two weeks, is completely unacceptable. While many young people in our communities are doing the right thing, anyone who gathers to fight or cause a disturbance will be held accountable.”
Olszewski said his team will meet with county police, mall management and security and other stakeholders to find a long-term solution.
Last month, nine juveniles were arrested and officers used pepper spray at the mall after a series of fights broke out.
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Eastpoint Mall does not list a curfew policy on its website for visitors younger than 18. Such a policy is in place at some other Baltimore-area malls, including White Marsh Mall, which announced a mandatory curfew in early March.