LAUDERHILL -- The Lauderhill Mall was on partial lockdown -- barring unescorted teenagers -- for more than two hours Tuesday afternoon after more than 100 teens gathered in the parking lot and a brief fight broke out, police said.
It started about 3:30 p.m. outside the Dollar Store at the south end of the mall. A 16-year-old boy, whose forehead was cut, was taken to Plantation General Hospital as a precaution. There were no arrests, according to Lauderhill Lt. Michael Butkus.
"I don't know what the motive was for using the mall or why they would want to fight," he said.
Police said speculation about why the teens came to the mall included a previous fight involving two girls, the Trayvon Martin murder case and word about a gathering spreading through social media.
Shopper Danielle Jozwiak said she was surprised by the size of the crowd as she left the Dollar Store.
"There was more than 100," she said. "You couldn't even see [the parking lot] they had the sidewalk and the whole road full of kids."
Police from Lauderhill, Plantation, Sunrise and Broward Sheriff's Office deputies converged on 1267 N. State Road 7 to disperse the crowd, but some teenagers ran into the mall and had to be cleared out, prompting the partial lockdown.
"There were a couple of police [officers] but what were they going to do?" Jozwiak asked, noting they were outnumbered by the teens.
Christian Parfene was part of a construction crew renovating the mall.
"I just saw a bunch of kids running around," he said. "I didn't think anything of it [until] I just saw a whole bunch of police officers."
This was the first time police had been called to the mall to break up such a large crowd of teenagers, Butkus said. ___
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