Shopping center detains teenagers

August 6, 2010 8:12:10 PM PDT
A group of teenagers say North Hills security guards took them to a small room filled with about 40 other teens and held them there without explanation Thursday night.North Hills is a shopping center on Six Forks Road just off the Beltline in Raleigh.

Managers for the shopping center say the group of teenagers was in violation of their policy that requires parents to be on site.

The policy on North Hills' website states teens 17 and under must be with an adult after 8 p.m. However, a Raleigh couple says on Thursday night the policy on the website was different.

Laurie and Brad Kimmerly say they went to North Hills Thursday night for a concert and their 16-year-old son, CJ, asked to come along so he could hang out with some of his friends who were also planning to be at the shopping center.

"So we did our homework, found out what time curfew was, made arrangements," Laurie Kimmerly said.

She says until Friday morning, the policy posted in the mall's website stated that high school-aged children, like CJ, can be there without an adult until 9 p.m., but it turns out that policy had been changed last week.

Bonner Gaylord, the general manager of North Hills, says the changes were made in response to dozens and dozens of complaints about minors onsite late at night unaccompanied.

He says he doesn't know when the website was updated, but adds that doesn't matter.

"Nobody has to know about the policy for the policy to be enforced," he said. "That's not a pre-requisite of the policy."

But the Kimmerly's say that isn't right.

"They told us to go in this room and when we went in the room, there were more kids in there, just standing there and they wouldn't let us out," CJ Kimmerly said.

"They shouldn't be made to feel like criminals," Laurie Kimmerly added. "I mean these children didn't even know how to react."

"They basically rounded them like cattle into a room," Brad Kimmerly said. "The kids weren't doing anything wrong."

The Kimmerly's says they want an apology and the general manager says he's willing to talk with them, as well as any other parents who might have concerns.

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