INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The cell phone video lasts no more than 30 seconds.
In that short span of time, teenagers can be heard screaming. Others appear to be frozen by the commotion surrounding them. Punches are thrown, and several land squarely on faces. More screams. Finally, officers rush in attempting to put an end to a violent episode that days later, still has community leaders wondering what can be done.
What’s not clear – are the events that preceded or followed that short video.
But the fight, which the video shows broke out near the Macy’s department store inside Castleton Square Mall, has IMPD reviewing surveillance footage to find and identify those responsible. So far, no arrests have been made.
When shown the video, obtained by 24-Hour News 8, Rev. Charles Harrison of the Ten Point Coalition, reacted by saying: “Well I’m disturbed by this. Look at this, all the fighting, and it’s escalating.”
Harrison, whose Ten Point Coalition has been called upon in years past to help quell violence among teens, said Saturday’s fight inside the mall needs to spur change among teens, their parents and possibly the mall’s parent company, Simon Property Group.
“This kind of fight in a mall could escalate into gun violence in the mall or outside the mall,” Harrison said. “(Simon) really needs to look at a policy that restricts after certain hours on the weekends without parental supervision.”
Harrison’s suggestion is that the mall establish a policy where teens on mall property after certain hours need to be escorted by an adult.
Les Morris, a spokesman for Simon Property Group, told 24 Hour News 8 that none of its 112 properties has such a policy and that doing so would be difficult to enforce.
A Simon Property Group statement regarding the incident read in part: “We have a long established Code of Conduct that is strictly enforced. Anyone who does not respect the Code of Conduct will be asked to leave the premises immediately.”
Jonathan Eriksen, an Ivy Hills resident and past president of the neighborhood association, said Saturday’s fight is concerning to him and his neighbors. Ivy Hills subdivision sits less than two miles from Castleton Square Mall. Eriksen said he’s worried continued incidents like the one Saturday might scare shoppers away and threaten the future of commerce in the area.
“It’s sad to me to see something like that happening when we are geographically probably the closest community to the epicenter of what’s happened three or four times now,” Eriksen said. “So you’ve this incredible neighborhood and these people that we know and love and we are the closest neighborhood to where these horrible things are happening. I don’t like that.”
Eriksen says his neighborhood’s Facebook group has already started threads discussing the possibility of future meetings with other neighborhood associations and possibly even his councilor to talk about ways to influence new business coming into the area and help identify future ways to avoid violence.
“There hasn’t been a dialogue and I think there needs to be of how can we effect change,” Eriksen said.
His city councilor, Christine Scales, was out of town and could not be reached for comment.