SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (CBS) — How did someone manage to smash a sport-utility vehicle right into the Woodfield Mall last week?
As CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas reported, some entrances are protected with bollards. But others are not.
The Sears entrance where a driver smashed through the Woodfield Mall remained boarded up Monday. Some shoppers are calling for changes to the entrance — and they’re not talking about new glass.
“It’s amazing that, this day in age, the entire mall wasn’t covered with the bollards (short steel poles) where someone couldn’t even pick up enough speed to get into the mall,” said Woodfield Mall shopper Michael Mucci.
Mucci, who shops at the Woodfield mall almost every week, said he’s noticed bollards blocking the mall’s main entrances.
But the driver on Friday smashed through an exterior Sears entrance – which has no bollards out front.
Ken Bouche, the Chief Operating Officer at the Hillard Heintze security firm, said the steel bollards that are so common today would have been enough stop the SUV.
“You can look at malls. You can look at sporting venues. Business offices. Everybody is putting them in place because, while they may be costly to install, they’re not costly to maintain and they’re a very effective method,” he said.
A Woodfield Mall representative said the mall installed bollards in front of their main entrances, but it’s up to the stores whether to install bollards at their entrances — and Sears didn’t have any.
“It was kind of surprising to learn that a vehicle could get in there,” Bouche said.
A witness took cell phone video showing the black SUV inside the mall as shoppers ran for safety Friday afternoon.
So this just happened at Woodfield. I’m safe. Jesus Christ pic.twitter.com/fOfhtPkWvr
— ronin (@nipsfalloff) September 20, 2019
The driver hit Forever 21 and crashed into kiosks before slamming into a pole in front of the Clark’s Shoe Store.
No one was seriously injured in Friday’s crash – though three people did get hurt trying to get away from the SUV.
“Sears has to put something in place to stop a car from coming through,” Mucci said.
CBS 2 has reached out to Sears to ask if they will make any security changes or install bollards. We will let you know what we hear.
Police said they don’t think what happened was a terrorist or planned attack. Instead, they’re looking into the possibility that the driver may have had a medical issue when his vehicle plowed through Sears.
The 22-year-old driver who was apprehended after the incident was being treated this weekend at AMITA Health Behavioral Medicine Institute, according to Schaumburg police. The duration of his treatment is unknown, and police say no charges will be authorized until his release.