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Some Parents Remain On Edge After Kings Plaza Mall Brawl

A police cruiser parked outside of the Kings Plaza Mall on Friday night. (Credit CBS 2)

A police cruiser parked outside of the Kings Plaza Mall on Friday night. (Credit CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Staffers at the Kings Plaza shopping worked to get back to business Monday, following a rampage last week by hundreds of teenagers.

As CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang reported, the shopping center on Sunday lifted restrictions on visits by young people, who had been banned from entering without adult supervision following the Thursday melee.

“Teens are now welcome without escort however we ask that they respect the center’s code of conduct while visiting the center,” mall management said in a statement Sunday. “Fighting and other disturbing behavior will not be tolerated and we will continue to work with NYPD to ensure our Code of Conduct is being enforced.”

But some parents remained cautious Monday.

Like many 16-year-olds, Krysta Emanuele of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn loves going to the mall. But from now on, her mother will be by her side.

“You come here thinking, ‘Oh, I’m going to shop,’” Emanuele said. “Instead, people are getting pushed; knocked out.”

Emanuele said she does not need a chaperone, but her peers do.

Cellphone video showed hundreds of rowdy teenagers storming through the Mill Basin mall shortly before it closed at 9 p.m. Thursday, with police officers wrestling young women to the ground.

Breeanah Thomas, 15, said she was part of the group who showed up Thursday after finding out about the gathering on social media.

“They had pepper spray. We attacked them because they attacked us,” she said. “They thought they were going to run us out, but they didn’t run me out.”

Until Sunday night, minors under 18 were turned away unless they had adult supervision.

Mall officials have not explained their quick change in the policy, but many employees said the reason is obvious. If teenagers cannot go inside, neither can their cash.

“It’s all about the penny. It’s all about the red penny, right?” said mall employee Jackie Brown. “So if they want the money, they have to let the kids in.”

The mall said it stepped up security with more guards and NYPD officers, who continued to investigate the brawl Monday afternoon.

“We have no one coming into the department; reaching out to the department saying they were assaulted,” said police Commissioner Ray Kelly. “Obviously, something took place there. We see it on the video.”

And the video was hard for parents to watch.

“We never had a problem, and now I’m little nervous, you know” said Krysta Emanuele’s mother, Antoinette Emanuele. “And I will not even come at night with her.”

Despite the unruly crowd, police said little damage was done inside the mall, and few stores reported thefts.

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