Baltimore County police arrested nine people outside White Marsh Mall, ending a chaotic scene in the mall’s parking lot Saturday night.
Police said the events began after a fight broke out in the bathroom of the mall’s food court. Mall security officers and an off-duty Baltimore County police officer who was working for the mall responded to the scene, ordering the teens to leave.
Most of the teens dispersed, but a few attempted to re-enter the mall, police said. When security guards told them they were not allowed back in, one of the adult members of the group attempted to punch an off-duty Baltimore County police officer, police said.
Police identified him as Michael Forrester, 19, of Baltimore. He was arrested and charged with second degree assault, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and trespassing. He was released on a $1,000 bond.
Another adult, Tyrell Rigby, 19, allegedly refused to leave the mall property. He was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and other charges.
No lawyer was listed for either Forrester or Rigby in online court records Sunday.
Several others surrounded the officer and the security guards, according to police.
The officer used pepper spray to try to disperse the crowd, after which members of the group ran away, with some causing other disturbances, police said. Some ran into Ring Road and stopped traffic, police said, while others tried to go across the street to The Avenue at White Marsh, but were ordered to leave due to the unaccompanied minor curfew policy.
Officer Jennifer Peach, a police spokeswoman, said her reports estimated the crowds were anywhere from 60 to 100 teenagers, though some people were just bystanders and not causing harm.
“I think it was just way too many unattended children,” she said.
More than 36 Baltimore County police officers from four precincts, aviation, as well as Maryland State Police responded to control the situation. It took over an hour to bring the situation to an end, police said.
“An additional part of the problem is they couldn’t leave,” Peach said. After police directed the teens to leave, those who had arrived via public transportation were left waiting for a bus.
In addition to Forrester and Rigby, police charged seven juveniles in the incident.
Police will increase their presence at White Marsh Mall and The Avenue at White Marsh areas next weekend to prevent a similar situation from happening again, Peach said.