DUNDALK, MD. (WJZ) — Multiple arrests were made outside the carnival at the Eastpoint Mall after fights broke out Sunday night.
Baltimore County Police said at least 20 people were arrested after the carnival shut down. Police said Monday an additional six had been arrested.
Carnival staff members made the decision to close down the carnival at around 6 p.m. Sunday night because it was too crowded.
“We do believe some people in the crowd were instigators that kind of instigated a larger crowd to do this large disturbance that we ended up having. We did have some fights that were breaking out in the parking lot,” said Cpl. Shawn Vinson, Baltimore County Police spokesman.
Police said at that time, about 1,000 people began to disperse into neighborhoods and the surrounding area, and multiple fights began.
Police said they received several 911 calls about a large disturbance, and they responded with a helicopter and K-9 units, using pepper spray to get people out, and over 50 officers responded to the scene.
“We were aware of the carnival we did have contact with the carnival officials and Eastpoint officials so we did have a plan in place and we believe we executed this plan as best as possible that was able to bring this situation and deescalate it pretty quickly,” Vinson said.
This incident comes less than a month after 9 teens were arrested for fighting inside the Eastpoint Mall during a high school March Madness party.
Police said they are working with mall owners to stop the violence.
The mall doesn’t currently have a curfew in place, but other malls do- including White Marsh who announced a mandatory curfew in early March.
Baltimore County Councilman Todd Crandell posted to Facebook saying in part:
“All the work being done to strengthen and improve our community is being undermined by city residents who somehow think it is okay to run wild, intimate drivers at intersections and come to our community to do nothing more than commit crime or cause chaos,”
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said they were not aware of the councilman’s concerns when WJZ reached out for comment.
“The County Executive is not interested in pointing fingers. We are working with the mall, the police, and the community to come up with long term sustainable solutions. We had similar concerns at Towson and White Marsh. We hadn’t heard from the Councilman, so we weren’t aware of his concerns,”
Olszewski has said they need to find a solution.
“I know its the second incident in just a few weeks there at a site so we will be engaging in a longer term solution, I’m confident we’ll find like Towson and White Marsh it may even be the same problem,” Olszewski said.
Olszewski tweeted a statement in response that read in part, “While many young people in our communities are doing the right thing, anyone who gathers to fight or cause a disturbance will be held accountable,”
Some neighbors said the mall doesn’t need a curfew.
“It could’ve been shootings stabbings it was none of that, it was just a crowd that got broke up, youth being youth,” said Rocky, a neighbor of the area.
Police said there were no injuries, and that while the carnival was originally scheduled to go until May 4, it is shut down for the remainder of the scheduled days.