CHICAGO (CBS) — The day after Christmas turned chaotic at Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, where Boxing Day was taken quite literally when a series of brawls broke out on Monday.
Fox Valley Mall was extremely busy on Monday, with many shoppers taking advantage of post-Christmas sales, or making returns of holiday gifts. The fights started around 6:30 p.m., when a group of teens began brawling near the food court.
The brawl escalated, and when some people started throwing bottles, security officers shut down the mall and began evacuating shoppers.
Shoppers posted videos of the brawls online.
Hundreds of shoppers watched from the first floor and upper level as a fight broke out in the food court. Aurora police said officers who tried to break up the brawl were attacked. Some teens in the crowd threw drinks and other objects at police and mall security, police said.
In total, 75 officers from Aurora and neighboring police departments responded. Police evacuated and closed the mall for about an hour as officers contained the situation.
“I saw a whole crowd of people outside just getting all rowdy and stuff. I don’t even know how many,” witness Shaun Iozzo said. “People were mainly fighting with cops, because they kept trying to have them stay there, and they didn’t want to. Not fist-fighting, but verbally.”
Iozzo said when he got outside the mall, there were at least 30 squad cars in the parking lots.
Police arrested eight juveniles between the ages of 13 and 17. It’s not yet clear what sparked the fights. A 17-year-old girl was charged with battery and resisting police. A 15-year-old girl was charged with resisting police and disorderly conduct. Three teens were charged with battery, and two teens were charged with obstructing police.
No injuries were reported.
The brawl happened two days after a much smaller fight at Gurnee Mills shopping center. Around 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve, a man and woman began fighting outside the Crocs store at Gurnee Mills; the man wielding a cane as a weapon, the woman wielding a chair, all while a baby sat in a stroller a few feet away.
A security guard arrived a few minutes later to defuse the situation.
CBS News reports there were at least 10 brawls at shopping centers across the country on Monday.