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No arrests after Jersey Gardens mall melee that caused evacuation


ELIZABETH — The investigation remains ongoing into the food court fight at Jersey Gardens mall on Monday night that led to false reports of gunshots and an ensuing panic that injured eight to 10 people.

All those injured were taken to area hospitals where they were treated for minor injuries and later released, city spokeswoman Kelly Martins said Tuesday.

She said police determined that the fight involved four young women in the food court of the mall. No arrests have been made, Martins said.

The fight started around 5 p.m. and caused a loud bang from a chair being slammed to the floor, authorities said. The noise was mistaken for gunshots and people bolted from the mall as police responded with weapons drawn.

The incident was one of several similar panics that at shopping malls across the country Monday, the federal Christmas holiday. Malls were evacuated in North Carolina, New York, Ohio and elsewhere, often following incorrect reports of gunfire, USA Today reported.

Bollwage on Monday night said he doubted there was a connection among the incidents.

City officials on Tuesday did not immediately respond to whether there was any definitive information about the fight at Jersey Gardens and the incidents at other shopping malls. 

Jersey Gardens was evacuated and closed Monday night but re-opened Tuesday.

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