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Debate over security at Towson Town Center

Fights lead to juvenile arrests over the weekend
Posted at 3:25 PM, Feb 21, 2022

TOWSON, Md. — The pandemic had kept her away from the Towson Town Center for nearly two years, but it is what Rosemary DiStefano witnessed on Saturday while shopping at Macy’s, which she says may keep her away for good.

“I look to my right and maybe six feet away, I saw this scrum of kids, adolescent teenagers. Didn’t think about anything. Knew there was somebody at the bottom of the pile so the first thing I did was just scream. I screamed, ‘Security! Security!” recalled DiStefano.

The incident DiStefano witnessed happened before three o’clock in the afternoon ahead of other incidents, which prompted six arrests and left officers and a security guard injured.

RELATED: Baltimore County Police arrest six juveniles during a disturbance call in Towson Town Center

“We had a little incident over at Towson Town Center. It was one of those kind of flash mob kind of things,” said Nancy Hafford, the executive director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce, who spoke with a number of merchants at the center on Sunday, and says they feel the mall has things under control. “The mall has not had an incident like this since December, 2019, and we expect it not to happen again, because I’m sure the kids that got arrested are going to send a clear message that it’s not good to go to Towson if you’re going to cause problems.”

But December of 2019 was just a few months before the shutdown for the pandemic when no one could shop at the center, and DiStefano says even with COVID-19 fears easing, the chance of encountering violence at the mall is enough to keep others from wanting to go there.

“I will never go back. I will never go back there," said one person.

DiStefano says the crowd dispersed and an injured teen walked away on his own power, but no one ever showed up to help him.