Teens face judge after mall fight, video surfaces

July 29, 2008 4:48:28 AM PDT
Six teens arrested following a fight at the Triangle Town Center Saturday night appeared in court while a You Tube video of the fight surfaced.Monday, Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan held a press conference to address Saturday night's incident at Triangle Town Center Mall.

He said the Raleigh Police Department is recommending a curfew at the mall and mall officials are also considering other options.

"We take this very seriously," Dolan said.

Meanwhile, the six teens arrested and charged in the incident appeared before a judge Monday.

  • Javonnie Nicholson, 16, is charged with inciting a riot, assault on law enforcement officer (not related to the knee laceration sustained by the RPD sergeant) and second degree trespassing.


  • Ricky Ladd Williams, 16, is charged with inciting a riot and engaging in an affray.


  • Laquavis Oneal Jordan, 16, is charged with inciting a riot.


  • Darryl Anthony Bobbitt, 18, is charged with inciting a riot, resist/obstruct or delay a public officer and second degree trespassing.


  • Christopher James Gamble, 17, is charged with inciting a riot and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury (the stabbing that occurred outside the mall).


  • Tyrell Eugene Brantley, 18, is charged with inciting a riot and disorderly conduct.
Williams --already on probation for conspiracy to commit armed robbery-- was given a $15,000 bond, electronic house arrest and a 24 hour curfew.

Gamble also had a prior record; his bond was set the highest, at $35,000. But his mother says he's innocent.

"My son has never even been suspended from school, and never been in a street fight," Beverly Coley said.

Nicholson tells Eyewitness News, she was just an onlooker in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

"It just looked like a war, like everybody was fighting. Everybody was, just fighting. Just slamming each other, stabbing each other. Just crazy," Nicholson said.

Only two of the six teens, Nicholson and Jordan, have bonded out of jail. All are due back in court on August 18.

In addition to those charged, a juvenile petition will be secured for a 15-year-old juvenile detained in connection with the incident.

Also on Monday, a new video posted on You Tube depicted the chaos erupting during the fight.

The video showed a baby in a stroller just a few feet away from what appeared to be an officer detaining someone on the ground.

Officials describe the video as showing the first arrest made that night. The video was quickly removed from You Tube.

The incident occurred around 8 p.m. Saturday. Raleigh Police Department officers working off duty at the mall reported the fight in progress and requested assistance.

Witnesses say they heard people screaming and then heard gunshots. However, Raleigh Police say no shots were fired.

The fight, which began inside the mall, continued outside as the crowd began to disburse. At its peak, the number of people associated with the disturbance was estimated at between 200 and 300 people. Some of those who were involved are known to be associated with gangs, and the genesis of the incident was gang related.

Raleigh Police Department spokesman Jim Sughrue says when referring to the incident as gang related, "it means that an incident occurred to further the purposes of the gang."

"We have a significant issue [with gangs], Dolan said. "Heartbreaking to see young people, 17 and 18-years-old who have shot people and held guns to people and robbed them."

Triangle Town Center Mall security personnel made a decision to close the facility around 8:40 p.m. Order was fully restored about 9 p.m.

A Raleigh Police Department sergeant sustained a significant laceration to one of his knees during the incident. The injury occurred while he was in foot pursuit of a suspect, not as a result of an assault. He was transported to Duke Raleigh Hospital for treatment and is expected to recover.

A 15-year-old male was stabbed in the buttocks during one of the altercations that occurred outside the mall. He was transported to Wake Med. His wounds are not life threatening.

Authorities declined to say if the mall had security camera footage of the incident. Sughrue said authorities are still investigating.

Now, the incident is raising some serious issues about the mall's safety --not only from Raleigh Police, but from mall-goers ranting about it on Craigslist.

"Smart people have choices and they will choose not to go there. Who wants to risk getting stabbed or shot while out shopping for a new shirt," one person wrote.

Mall management says there is an anti-loitering police, but there is loitering at any mall. They say they have kicked groups out before. Their rules state no groups can congregate at the mall.

Approximately 55 shopping malls in the U.S. have some sort of escort policy in place, including Northgate Mall in Durham.

Its policy states that teens 16 and under must be accompanied by a guardian who is 21 or older. It went into effect five years ago.

Triangle Town Center is one of 90 malls owned by CBL Properties. Ten of its shopping centers already have escort and curfew policies in place.

Mall authorities are still discussing whether Triangle Town could be next, in light of Saturday's brawl.


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