April 07, 2023
The Fashion District shopping mall has decided to take action after a mob of teenagers caused disturbances in Center City on Wednesday night.
The mall, located on Market Street, will require teenagers under age 18 to be accompanied by an adult after 2 p.m. The rule applies on weekdays and weekends. The mall closes between 6-8 p.m., depending on the day.
"We know this is just one step we can do to continue to support our partners with the Philadelphia Police Department on these issues affecting downtown," General Manager Ryan Williams told WHYY.
On Wednesday night, a crowd of teens caused a disturbance as it moved from Old City, through the Fashion District, to City Hall. Videos posted on social media showed large groups of people running through the streets.
Police said they noticed unusually large numbers of teens gathering on Market Street around 6 p.m. Wednesday. By 7:30 p.m., the crowd had swelled to at least 350 teens and officers called for additional assistance.
Three teens were cited for disorderly conduct and another for carrying an airsoft gun, police said. A police officer also was injured while chasing a teenager.
The extent of the disturbance caused by the crowd is unclear. Police accounts have offered conflicting information. At a news conference Thursday, Police Inspector Raymond Evers said some teens had thrown rocks at officers, jumped on police vehicles and climbed poles. But earlier in the day, a police spokesperson told the Inquirer that no rocks were thrown and no property damage was incurred.
At the news conference, Evers blamed the teens' disorderly behavior on a lack of parental oversight, 6ABC reported.
"This is a parental issue," Evers said. "We have 170 rec centers in the city, we have 26 PAL centers in the city, and we have numerous sports leagues and church groups in the city. This is what the kids should be doing. This is a parental issue. This is not a police issue, this is not a city issue. The parents should be watching their kids, what they're doing."
In September, a Northeast Philly Wawa was ransacked by more than 100 youths, causing an estimated $10,000 in damages. Some teens were seen jumping on parked cars; others tore the convenience store apart.
In December, the city made its summertime curfew, enacted temporarily last summer, a permanent fixture. It requires teens ages 14-17 to be indoors by 10 p.m. and those 13 and under to be inside by 9:30 p.m. The city's previous curfew required teens to be home by midnight.
Still, many teens said the summertime curfew was hardly enforced.