Cherry Hill Mall enforces parental escort policy after 2017 post-Christmas chaos

CHERRY HILL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The Cherry Hill Mall enforced a post-Christmas parental escort policy in response to a chaotic scene two years ago.



The enforcement of the policy was only for Thursday, December 26, 2019.

The mall enforced the policy from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. All guests 17 and under had to be accompanied by a parent or adult 21 or older.

"The Cherry Hill Police Department and Cherry Hill Mall Management want everyone to have a safe shopping experience," the police department posted on Facebook.

Dayalie Gonzales, 18, and her two 16-year-old family members tried to get into the mall.

"They didn't let us in. They said we need a parent or someone over 21," said Gonzales.

Cherry Hill Police Chief William Monaghan says the beefed-up patrols and extra security come in a reaction to December 26 in years past.

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"In 2017 we had 700 to 1000 unattended juveniles inside the mall and there were fights that were breaking out. It got to the point it was a public safety issue," said Monaghan.

He said if anyone didn't follow the rule, "mall security guards will advise them they're not allowed in. If they give the mall security a hard time, officers will intervene. If they become disorderly and try to enforce their way into the mall, they'll be arrested."

Luckily it didn't come to that but there were mixed options.

"As a parent, this is my daughter, I think it's a great idea. When they come into the mall a lot do shop but sometimes they don't and browse and cause trouble," said Chris Bardales.

Alexis Bardales said, "Just because some teens don't know how to act out in public and others who do are the ones being punished for it."

Police say no arrests were made on Thursday.
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