TOWSON, Md. — Six juvenile arrests and three assaults on security staff and police during a social media-fueled blitz on the Towson Town Center proved to be too much for shoppers, like Rosemary DiStefano, who told us earlier this week that she witnessed as many as six teens beating another one.
“I will never go back. I will never go back there,” pledged DiStefano.
In a bid to restore faith in the security at the mall, Police Chief Melissa Hyatt has led talks with its management team and other stakeholders this week about joint training to better address such incidents.
“This will enhance communication and insure collaboration and coordinated efforts between management teams, security and our police department,” said Hyatt. “There will be increased police presence as well.”
Officers who are primarily on foot already work overnight shifts in the Greater Towson area, having made arrests in recent nearby incidents such as a shooting, smash and grab burglaries, and a carjacking.
While county leaders are taking steps to prevent criminal behavior, they offer this warning to those who would test them.
“Most young people have been doing the right thing, but those who cause fights and disturbances should be and will be held accountable,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “We will not tolerate unlawful behavior of any kind in the Towson Town Center, in Towson or in any Baltimore County community.”
Anne Arundel County police have also received credible information that another large-scale incident is being planned for Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover this weekend, and they’re encouraging parents to talk to their children about what happened in Towson and its dangers and repercussions.