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In a strange turn of events, unexplained chain reaction brawls involving up to 2,000 people erupted at one of Kentucky’s
largest malls this past Saturday night, forcing the entire mall and businesses in the surrounding area to shut down.

The hours-long chaos at Mall St. Matthews began about 7 p.m. ET when the six St. Matthews police officers assigned to the mall for the holiday season began responding to “disturbances,” said Officer Dennis McDonald, a police spokesman told NBC.

“As they were responding to those disturbances, others were breaking out. … Disturbances started to feed on themselves.” McDonald said. “They were just overwhelmed with a number of calls for service and reports of disorder.”

The officers on duty at the mall called for backup, and 50 officers from five different agencies responded, according to police.

“It was a series of brawls” involving 1,000 to 2,000 people ages 13 to their early 20s, McDonald continued, adding that “the entire mall” was affected.

About 8 p.m., authorities started to advise stores in the mall to close their doors, but those involved in the brawls were refusing to leave. “Businesses were in the process of closing their doors, steel grates, and you had juveniles that were not allowing businesses to close up — [they were] climbing on the grates,” McDonald said.

“It took about an hour and a half, close to two hours, before things were calm,” McDonald added. Officers “maintained a presence” until 1 a.m., McDonald said, adding: “We’re all tired.”

The most baffling part of the story, aside from no one being sure what or who started the riots- is that no one was arrested.

According to the mall’s security office, Mall St Matthews returned to normal business hours and reopened at 11 a.m. Sunday.

St. Matthews, a suburb of about 18,000 people outside of Louisville, is a normally quiet city that sees no more than two murders a year, McDonald said. “I’ve been a police officer 33 years, and I haven’t ever seen anything like this before,” he said. “We always plan for worst-case scenario, but this exceeded that.”

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  • _ms_thing

    Don’t believe the hype, I live in louisville and this was GROSSLY sensationalized. Ilf you can read in between the lines, a couple of public transportation buses of KIDS were in the “wrong part of town” and that caused them to panic. There was not even close to 2000 kids, not even a thousand. This disgusts me.

    • I knew that there was more to the story. Thank you for your information.

    • _ms_thing

      no problem. The mayor himself spoke out later that day about the fact that there was NO NEED for such panic, that it was only kids and teenagers. He faced a pretty big backlash because of that because certain people wanted him to do his part in helping to demonize these children and he wouldn’t participate.

    • Pamela

      Were you there at the mall? Do you have video?

    • _ms_thing

      I was not. The damning part about this situation is that almost nobody has video, save for what was shown on the news. In the age of technology where EVERYBODY has a camera on there phone, no one was able to catch “2000” teens causing “riots”? furthermore there were TWO fights, 5 kids apiece involved. Not 2000 people fighting. The final nail in the coffin was the Mayor of St. Matthews speaking out almost immediately about the situation stating that there was absolutely no need to panic, they were just kids, and he faced a pretty big backlash due to that.

    • Myra Esoteric

      Thanks for the information. I knew this was overblown. When students who are more privileged go wild in Cancun nobody says a thing..

    • Chazz A

      Thanks for the inside info. The mass media is trying to incite the public into believing this incident was a full scale riot.