Malls Beef Up Security, Track Social Media After Monroeville Mall Brawl

Cailin Calub / Twitter
Cailin Calub / Twitter
Monroeville, PA

While it remains unclear if any arrests were ever made in a Monroeville, PA mall melee that saw a group of up to a thousand young female black teens break into a near riot, malls nationwide now appear to be ramping up security and even going so far as to monitor social media to prevent another incident of the same type.

Mall owners are turning to social media to get in front of trouble before it starts, reasoning that if Twitter can be used to start a mall brawl, it can prevent one.

Security operations at many large shopping centers include some kind of social media tracking, in which web-crawling software alerts guards to posts about fights, protests or other threats to the property.

For its part, Monroeville Mall is passing off the brawl as “an isolated incident”  and upgrading its own security. Still, several days later, there seem to be no clear answers as to what actually started the mass melee—and no one appears to have been held accountable for the debacle.

Monroeville officials said Tuesday they are developing measures to address concerns about brawling crowds of teenagers — captured in cell phone videos that quickly spread clips of the chaos on social media — that closed Monroeville Mall the day after Christmas.

Mayor Greg Erosenko and police Chief Doug Cole met with mall officials and said they have “several things in the works.” Erosenko said details will be available once they settle on a strategy.

“Monroeville Mall is a family friendly shopping center dedicated to creating a comfortable environment for members of the Monroeville community,” Erosenko said in a statement.