Several incidents at the Walden Galleria in Cheektowaga caused a lockdown of the region's largest mall Wednesday night.
In a statement late Wednesday, Cheektowaga Police reported that two arrests were made, one for disorderly conduct and the other for menacing. They noted that they had received no reports of injuries as of shortly before 10:30 p.m.
The police statement said that officers assigned to the mall began responding about 6:30 p.m. to reports of disorderly youths and fighting. Additional officers came after a report of gunshots at about 7:30 p.m. Police said those reports were false, and that the noise was caused by a metal sign knocked over by youths running in the concourse.
Police said at least three fights occurred at the mall, prompting a flood of officers from several law enforcement agencies to converge on the scene or otherwise assist the town. One initial report cited "hundreds of unruly teens fighting and causing damage."
Authorities declared the situation under control just after 8 p.m., but reports from individuals present at the mall indicated continued chaos, with a new fight breaking out in the food court, and brawls continuing in the mall and parking lot until 9 p.m. One witness said the windows of the Michael Kors store were smashed.
The Classy Walden Galleria Mall Shoppers in Buffalo NY#galleriamall #buffalo
Posted by Aldo Giammusso on Wednesday, December 26, 2018
State Police, Amherst Police, NFTA Police and even U.S. Border Patrol officers assisted at the scene, with their vehicles' flashing lights filling the parking lot, while West Seneca Police handled calls in southern Cheektowaga to relieve pressure on the town. Buffalo and Depew police also provided assistance, Cheektowaga police said.
Reports from shoppers indicated the mall was being evacuated and it would be closed for the remainder of the evening, but that hadn't happened as of 8:30 p.m., even after two Metro buses arrived at about 8:20 and started loading up passengers. NFTA Police officers were also assisting, by escorting the buses back into the city.
"Expect large police presence for rest of night," Cheektowaga Police tweeted.
Cheektowaga police have not released the names or ages of those arrested.
— 𝖆𝖗𝖎𝖊𝖑𝖑𝖊 ⚔️ (@theangrygt) December 27, 2018
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