Thrown chairs mistaken for gunfire sparked chaos at Willowbrook, cops say

WAYNE -- Police are reviewing security tapes to determine who will be charged after a fight at the Willowbrook Mall on Sunday that created chaos, confusion and panic when mallgoers inaccurately believed gunshots had been fired, police said. Wayne...

Thrown chairs mistaken for gunfire sparked chaos at Willowbrook, cops say

WAYNE -- Police are reviewing security tapes to determine who will be charged after a fight at the Willowbrook Mall on Sunday that created chaos, confusion and panic when mallgoers inaccurately believed gunshots had been fired, police said.

Wayne Police responded to the fight after an officer saw 20 "or more" people running from the entrance to the mall near Cheesecake factory.

A woman also banged on the police car yelling, "There's guys shooting each other inside the mall," according to a news release from Wayne Police Capt. Lawrence Martin.

Two officers arrived at the food court and found that no shots were fired, but that a physical altercation had taken place. Police determined that two men and one juvenile male got into a fight with another juvenile male, and his mother and father.

Two of the men and one of the juvenile "aggressors" were throwing chairs that the crowd confused for gunshots. Other people in the crowd also heard the noise and yelled "shots fired," Martin said.

The sounds caused everyone to flee from the mall.

Three men were identified and issued a notice of trespass by mall security. The juvenile male and his parents weren't injured, but two unidentified females were. One female reported an injured wrist and the other had undisclosed, but non-life threatening injuries, Martin said.

The juvenile male who threw the chairs was taken into custody for "health and welfare" reasons and turned over to a family member.

Wayne police are still investigating and will determine charges. 

Sara Jerde may be reached at sjerde@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @SaraJerde.

 

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