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Suit: Mall Security Assaults Teenage Girls

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Hoodie (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Hoodie (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (STMW) – A trip to the Ford City Mall turned ugly when three teenage girls were allegedly assaulted by security when one girl refused to take down the hood on her sweatshirt.

Tanya Gilmore claims that she took her 15-year-old twin daughters and their friend to the mall on March 6, 2010, according to the suit filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court.

The girls separated from Gilmore and after 15-20 minutes in the mall were approached by two Allied Barton Security Service guards, according to the suit. One of the guards, Tina Smith, asked the twins’ friend to put down the hood on her sweatshirt. The girl complied but put her hood up again after walking away from the guards.

The guards told the girls they had to leave the mall, according to the suit. One of the twins called Gilmore, who came to the scene and said she would escort the girls while they continued to shop.

Smith told Gilmore that the girls would have to leave because the mall had a “no hoodie” policy, which the twins’ friend violated, according to the suit. A policy that the suit claims that the mall did not have.

One of the twins started to walk toward the exit, when Smith stepped in her path and deliberated caused the twin to collide with her, according to the suit. Smith then roughly slapped and struck the girl on the back of the neck and back.

The other twin tried to help her sister and was thrown to the ground by a unidentified security guard and her arm was twisted behind her back, according to the suit. She was then dragged across the floor by her hair. The security guard also placed his knee into her back while continuing to pull her hair.

Gilmore tried to assist her daughters but was pushed to the ground by another unidentified security guard, according to the suit. She struck her head and back during the fall.

The girls were taken to the mall’s security office and handcuffed to a rail, according to the suit. They were interviewed and their picture was taken. The twin that was initially allegedly assaulted suffers from sickle cell disease and complained that she was in pain, cold and needed her medication.

Gilmore was outside the room where the girls were and told the guards her daughter had the disease and that she needed the medication that Gilmore possessed, according to the suit. The guards did not allow her to see her daughters or provide the medication despite numerous requests. Gilmore repeatedly called the Chicago Police for assistance.

The suit claims that the security guards initiated criminal charges against the twin, who was initially allegedly assaulted, claiming that she committed battery against Smith. Chicago Police arrived after several hours and interviewed the twins. They took the twin who was initially allegedly assaulted to the police station and an hour later the charges were dropped and the girl was released.

Gilmore took the twins to the hospital because they were injured and not feeling well, according to the suit. The twin who suffered from sickle cell disease was treated for her symptoms, hooked up to an IV, given pain medication and received x-rays, according to the suit. She was released from the hospital after 3 a.m. and taken home.

Gilmore was in pain and left her home to be examined at another area hospital and returned home the next morning, according to the suit. The twin who suffers from sickle cell was still in pain and taken back to the hospital the next evening where she remained as a patient until March 20, 2010.

Gilmore, who also suffered from sickle cell disease, and her daughter later returned to the hospital where they stayed for several days.

The nine-count suit also names commercial property realtor, Jones Lang LaSalle and claims false arrest and imprisonment, battery, and negligent hiring and supervision. The suit seeks unspecified damages and court costs.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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