The Parks Mall at Arlington is going to require any shoppers under 18 to have an adult, at least 21 years old, with them after 2 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, starting this weekend.
The mall announced in a news release that the curfew is in response to “disruptive behavior” Saturday night, when Arlington police said a large number of teenagers got into a fight at the shopping center. No injuries were reported, but police said they arrested seven teens. They also said that reports of gunshots during the fight were false.
In January, police said another fight involving around 20 to 30 teens started in a mall corridor near the ice rink and ended with five girls being arrested. Reports of gunshots at that fight were false, too, police said.
Police said the majority of the approximately 50 calls for service at the Parks Mall they’ve received since Jan. 1 have been related to shoplifting. There have been nine assault reports in that time period, most involving teens ages 15 to 17.
Arlington Chief of Police Al Jones said in the news release that they support the curfew and that it “aligns with our mutual goal to collaboratively and proactively ensure the mall remains a safe and welcoming place for all visitors.”
The curfew, dubbed the Parental Guidance Required program, will require the mall to have trained public safety officers at all mall entrances to check the IDs of visitors who appear to be younger than 18. Each adult can accompany four minors aged 12 to 17, with no limit on the number of children 10 or younger, according to the release.
A wristband will be provided to anyone security officers decide to ID who is 18 or older. Anybody who is being accompanied by an adult must stay with that adult throughout their time at the mall, according to the release.
Anyone under 18 who does not have an adult chaperone will be turned away. The mall said in the release that an announcement will be made at 1 p.m. that anybody under 18 who is not accompanied by an adult will need to leave. At 2 p.m., security inside the mall will check the IDs of anyone who appears to be underage and is not wearing a wristband.
“The PGR program is intended to help provide a safe, peaceful experience at our shopping center,” Parks Mall at Arlington Senior General Manager Lorie Lisius said in the news release. “We want to reiterate that all are welcome at The Parks Mall at Arlington at any time. We simply require that during certain weekend hours, families shop together and guests under 18 are accompanied by an adult.”
This story was originally published April 20, 2022 5:50 PM.