Dozens arrested after brawls in malls across America

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Dozens arrested after brawls in malls across America
Dozens of people were arrested after fights broke out in malls across America during the busy holiday shopping season.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Police are trying to determine if social media was partly responsible for violence and chaos erupting in malls across America.

From New Jersey to Illinois, commotion inside malls had police rushing in as shoppers rushed to get out. "Every five seconds we just heard running, and then boom, boom, boom," one shopper said.

In New Jersey, a fight inside a food court was mistaken for gunfire. In Tennessee, fireworks igniting inside a store started a brawl. And police in Aurora, Colorado say fights there were organized on social media. "There was something that was going around on social media about a fight that was going to take place here, at the Town Center of Aurora, which is what drew all of these people, who were up to no good, to our mall," Aurora Police Sgt. Chris Amsler told ABC News.

Dozens of people were arrested across the country in the melees, mostly for disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. No one was seriously injured.

Police in other cities are investigating to see if social media is to blame as well.