LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Several fights between teens outside of Park Plaza Mall have officials saying enough is enough, prompting them to close doors early Tuesday.
This happened after the mall implemented a youth escort policy. Kids under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
In a statement Wednesday, the mall confirmed multiple fights broke out. It said:
“Both mall security and LRPD responded quickly, but out of abundance of caution, we advised tenants to close their stores. The mall is open for business as usual today, and we have increased our police presence and will enforce the youth escort policy for the remainder of the week.
The youth escort policy was put in to place earlier this year to curtail the number of unsupervised youth hanging out at Park Plaza on weekends, with the ultimate goal of providing shoppers and retailers with a family-friendly, convenient and enjoyable experience. The language in the policy allows our management the flexibility to implement the policy at any day and time when it is deemed necessary or appropriate.”
But Tuesdays shopping experience was less than friendly for many shoppers. So, many people asked, how do we keep this from happening again?
"To me, as a parent you should know where your children are at all times,” Walter Crockran said
Crockran works with 25 to 30 kids in the Little Rock area by helping them to stay out of trouble. He said he started working with them to avoid incidents like what happened at Park Plaza Tuesday.
“I have several kids that would fight all the time. Get in trouble in school. We've had kids that would fight all the time, since they've been with us for a couple of years they haven't been getting into trouble,” Crockran said.
He said hearing kids fighting inside the mall is upsetting. However, he said this can be prevented while kids are on long breaks.
“[Parents] should try to have to have something to do during their down time,” Cockran said.
Cockran keeps his kids occupied by taking them to different events.
“We try to keep them in the gym, playing basketball. Just last week we went to the movies, a Memphis grizzlies game,” he said.
Crockran said it is also important for parents to keep a close tab on their child.
"You just don't want to get a call from a police department your child was arrested because they were caught up in something they shouldn't be caught up in,” Cockran said.
Park Plaza has extended their youth escort policy for the remainder of the week, meaning if you are under 18 you must have an adult with you.