CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Two teens were arrested and an expanded parental escort policy is now in place after multiple fights broke out Sunday at the Walden Galleria.
According to Cheektowaga police, the department was working in collaboration with Walden Galleria Security and the Buffalo Peacemakers in preparation of the "annual December 26th youth crowd," and had 12 officers assigned to assist mall security with any issues.
Police said multiple fights broke out between teens, which led to two arrests and numerous others being ejected from the mall. Others, who were uncooperative, were held until they were picked up by a parent or guardian.
Police also said there was an unconfirmed report of a shot being fired in the five-level parking ramp. A search of the area found no evidence of a shot being fired, police said.
No injuries were reported and the Walden Galleria closed at 7 p.m. as scheduled.
According to police, the Walden Galleria has expanded its parental escort policy due to the fights. The mall's policy requires guests under 18 to be accompanied by an adult over the age of 21 Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to close. This week that policy will be in place each day except for Sunday.
Pyramid Management Group, the owner of the Walden Galleria, has released the following statement:
Our goal is to ensure that all guests have a continuous, safe and enjoyable shopping, dining and entertainment experience. It’s why we have comprehensive safety protocols, and why we regularly assess them to make sure we’re consistent with other major retail complexes around the country.
While virtually all of our visitors act responsibly (99.9%), we are mindful that a very small percentage can cause isolated disruptions. We are taking steps to address that. Based on recent discussions with our law enforcement partners -- as well as feedback from tenants, guests, and community leaders -- we will be broadening the scope of our Parental Escort Policy to have it take effect today at 4:00 p.m., and go through Thursday, December 30th.
We’re thankful for the tireless efforts by our security team, community partners and local law enforcement agencies that make Walden Galleria a year-round family-friendly destination.
In an unrelated incident, police announced an employee of Dave & Buster's, 29-year-old Javier Romero, was arrested for possessing a handgun while working. Police said another employee noticed the gun in his waistband and Romero said it belonged to his girlfriend. He was charged with second degree criminal possession of a weapon.