by Kerry Dougherty

As a rule, I pay scant attention to social media rumors. But a video clip circulating Sunday on Facebook showing a nasty altercation at Lynnhaven Mall appears to be authentic. The rampage was bad enough that the mall was reportedly forced to close early Saturday night.

Not good.

The footage shows a fight involving a throng of teenaged girls and mall security. In the short clip, it appears that a guard is on the ground being pummeled by at least one of the punks. It seems this took place inside near the main entrance. (You can see a “Verizon” sign reflected in the glass near the ruckus).

Calls to the Virginia Beach Police on Sunday for details were mostly fruitless. They confirmed that police were called to the mall at about 7:30 Saturday, but other than that they would release no details because — get this — “It isn’t breaking news.”

Of course, it was breaking news on Saturday, but because we didn’t phone while the event was unfolding, the officer I spoke with Sunday said we’d have to wait until Monday to call for details.

Don’t you just love government factotums?

Memo to Police Chief Paul Neudigate: Fix this. Yes, you’ve only been on the job since October but members of the media need access to accurate information 24/7. Crimes rarely happen during bankers’ hours. This is a public safety issue and the people of Virginia Beach have a right to know if hooliganism is taking place at the city’s most popular shopping mall.

Mall security was of no use, either. They refused to comment on the incident.

Here’s what we do know, from a WAVY TV-10 news brief: Lynnhaven Mall closed early Saturday night due to “disruptive teens” who “kept getting into fights.” There were no reports of shootings or serious injuries.

A source inside the police department, who was not authorized to speak, told me that Lynnhaven Mall fell victim to what this officer described as “mob behavior.” Large groups of young people were fighting throughout the mall, I was told. Stores were locked for fear of being swarmed and some shops locked employees inside for their own safety.

So much for the season of peace on earth goodwill toward men.

When I reached him Sunday evening, Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer confirmed that there were fights — plural — at Lynnhaven Mall that night and that the shopping center closed early, although he didn’t have the exact time of the closure.

“I have information that there were a number of incidents involving youths at Lynnhaven Mall,” Dyer said by phone. “I don’t believe there were any serious injuries but this is a cause of major concern.”

You bet it is.

This column is republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.

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30 responses to “Shopping Mall Melee”

  1. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    I’m sure they all had their masks on and threw punches from a safe distance….

  2. Why were they fighting in the mall? Because it’s cold outside.

  3. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    Nothing the worry about. Just the collapse of American civilization into chaos, that is all, on our way to a totalitarian state driven our leaders feasting on ginned up class and race hated for their own consolidation of power.

  4. James Wyatt Whitehead V Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead V

    Malls are obsolete. Maryland is turning the old Landmark mall into a 52 acre walkable bikeable community centered on the healthcare industry. Now we’re cooking!

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      They ARE , FAST becoming obsolete.

      They tore down the Sears at our local Mall (left the rest intact so far)but they are replacing what was Sears with Apartments!

      Used to be, zoning folks thought apartments were incompatbile with commercial . No more.

    2. idiocracy Avatar

      That’s in Virginia, and Landmark was rather dumpy 20 years ago.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        Malls, nationwide, are going belly-up, no?

        1. idiocracy Avatar

          It’s been suggested that overbuilding of malls in the 70s and 80s has contributed to the problem. Perhaps poor management and poor location also play into it.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            I am somewhat amazed that locally, apartments are being proposed and approved at many commercial locations. In the original era of Malls, it seemed the idea was to separate Malls from residential.

            Now, they’re apparently ok co-located and to be honest, if a mall is going to go belly-up, Apartments are a logical replacement.

  5. Baconator with extra cheese Avatar
    Baconator with extra cheese

    If mall fighting particpants aren’t in line with Equity I say we decriminalize it.
    Can’t have mall fighting persecution fall unjustly on one racial group….
    Defund mall security! (But the Segway lobby may get upset…)

  6. LarrytheG Avatar

    Well that confirms it. If there is a wreck on the highway, pray to God, that Kerry is not in a car ahead of you. 😉

  7. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    Perhaps the Virginia Beach police do not consider Kerry a member of the “media” and, thus, did not feel obliged to talk to her. Of course, there is no longer a viable newspaper covering that area either.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      I suspect the VB police “know” Kerry, though… 😉

    2. Last I heard, radio is still media. 😊

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        Oh I have no doubt what-so-ever that Kerry IS “media”!


        1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

          Media? Or mediocre?

  8. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    “Our point of departure is more real to us than our destination; and the destination is likely to present a very different picture when arrived at, from the vaguer image formed in (our earlier) imagination.

    By destroying traditional social habits of the people,

    by dissolving their natural collective consciousness into individual constituents,

    by licensing the opinions of the most foolish,

    by substituting instruction for education,

    by encouraging cleverness rather that wisdom, the upstart rather than the qualified,

    by fostering the notion of Getting On to which the alternative is a hopeless apathy,

    (THUS), Liberalism can prepare the way for that which is its own negation: the artificial, mechanized or brutalized control which is the desperate remedy for its chaos.” So warned T. S. Elliot, in Christianity and Culture, in 1939.

    Thus T. S. Elliot foretold the catastrophic future of the West in the 1940s. Thus he now foretells America’s future today at the dawn of the 2o2os.

    Our fantastically accelerating dive into catastrophe is made plain by the tenor and tone of BR posts over the course of the past several years starting in the spring and summer at Charlottesville, Virginia of 2017. This after the federal government’s induced rampant rape epidemic hysteria at UVA beginning in 2011 reached its peak in the winter of 2014. By now, have we reached the critical mass where the center cannot hold?

    Or, in the words of William Butler Yeats,

    The Second Coming

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

  9. Fracases in malls are nothing new. In +/-1980, when I was a teenager living in that part of the state, I witnessed a rather large and intense fight among teenagers at Military Circle Mall following a midnight movie. Unfortunately, during this particular melee someone was stabbed multiple times and very badly injured (possibly killed, we never found out). Some people caught the perpetrator and held him for police. A couple of the people I was with were training to be emergency medical personnel so we stayed with the victim and they treated him as best they could while I and another guy did our best to keep people away from the scene until an ambulance arrived.

    While serious injuries and death were not a regular occurrence, even at that time fights among young people in shopping malls was not unusual – and I’m sure contemporary middle-aged folks then were certain such events were harbingers of the end of our society.

    1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      Shopping maul? Remember that. Stopped going to Military Circle in the 70s. What was the mall at VB Blvd and Independence? I think it was the first modern mall in the area, discounting the Selden and Monticello Arcades.

      1. Pembroke Mall. Sears was its anchor.

        A good while after the main mall was constructed they built two great round movie theaters in the parking lot. They had HUGE screens a fantastic sound systems. Since the buildings were circular in shape the screens were slightly concave, so the picture appeared clear even if you were seated all the way to one side.

        Now that I’m thinking about it, they built the two large circular theaters separately. The second one was added on a few years after the first one was built. They built a nice lobby between the two structures. You do not see very many movie screens as large as those today.

        It was a great place to see a movie. Before I got my drivers license I used to walk or ride my bicycle there.

        1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

          That’s it. Pembroke. Yes, saw some great movies there. Two specifically. “Midway” with Sensaround. And “The End” with Burt Reynolds, Dom Deloiuse and Sally Fields. That one came with picketing by the local Catholics. It was a movie about suicide and there was a scene in a Catholic church, with Robbie Benson playing a priest, that set the KoC or such on fire! Maybe even the Pope condemned it.

          If you ever get the chance to see it.

          1. I saw Midway in that theater, too. My father and my grandfather (WWII veteran of the Pacific theater) took me to see it. I think I was 11 or 12.

          2. Nancy_Naive Avatar

            When the B-25s took off, you could feel your guts moving from the 16Hz sound in the Sensaround.. It was nothing less than magnificent.

      2. PS – Pembroke Mall opened in 1966. It was the first in the Hampton Roads area.

    2. Matt Adams Avatar

      I seem to recall before Black Friday started the month prior, that when stores opened at 0530 on Black Friday melee’s ensued, sometimes devolving to fisticuffs and what not.

  10. LarrytheG Avatar

    Malls are a dumb place to “rumble”. There usually have a bunch of security camers, on-site security, and no place to really “melt” into the surrounding landscape since they are surrounded by acres of parking lots.

  11. They ARE a dumb place to rumble, but in 1980 not very many malls or stores had security cameras – at least not good ones.

    Back then, a mall offered all kinds of escape routes for miscreants once the cops show up.

  12. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Reed. Cummings was a fascist

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      Lower case. e.e. cummings. But I thought he quoted Elliot and Yeats.

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