NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – They went from a half-day at school to wreaking havoc at the mall, nearly shutting it down.
Police say around 1,000 students caused a massive disruption at the Queens Center Mall Friday afternoon and at least one person was beaten and robbed.
CBS2 has learned at least one girl is in Jamaica Hospital for cuts and bruises after she was beaten and robbed of her cell phone in what was a dangerous after school melee.
A massive brawl in the mall food court eventually turned into riots in the street.
Punches were thrown and a group of girls was seen kicking someone on the ground.
“People getting dragged around like rag dolls, it was everyone, teenagers to adults,” Sean Vassallo said.
The NYPD descended upon the mall in droves.
The high school students nearly took the place over, with dozens running the wrong way up an escalator and paper and water being thrown from a balcony.
Police say it may have been started by fake money being flung.
“It was a whole stampede of everybody,” one person told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner.
“I was actually really, really scared,” vendor Victoria Takhlova said. “They started running right in front of my stand and they scared off a customer.”
On the Friday before Thanksgiving, businesses are feeling terrorized and closed for an hour.
“They were closing the doors, they were locking themselves in,” Takhlova added.
Police blocked teens from entering the mall the rest of the night.
It’s at least the second incident of chaos at the mall this year. Back in March, ahead of a rapper’s appearance, hundreds of teens threw chairs and food and broke out in fights. That melee canceled the event.
“I’m disappointed with this generation,” Brailyn Loveras said. “If they want to come here to eat hang out with fiends it’s ok, but not just to disturb this whole environment.”
The mall eventually went back to normal for the rest of the evening.