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Published: Wednesday, 12/27/2006

3 teenagers arrested after fight near mall

BY MIKE SIGOV
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Three local teens were arrested yesterday after a fight in the parking lot between the JC Penney store at Westfield Franklin Park and Kohl's department store, police said.

Though the fight, first reported at 5:15 p.m., had broken up by the time officers arrived, three juvenile males were apprehended nearby and charged with delinquency in connection with rioting, Toledo police Sgt. Greg Smith said. Two others were identified, and warrants for their arrests were issued last night, the sergeant said.

There were no reports of serious injuries in the fight, which was at least the third such incident in or near Franklin Park since Thanksgiving.

"I was coming out of JC Penney when I saw five to six kids fighting, at least two to three on the ground, just pummeling each other," Deanne Van Buren, who said she was from the Toledo area, recounted in a phone interview. "Fifteen to 20 minutes later, police caught three of the kids at the Burger King across from the parking lot."

Mrs. Van Buren said it was the third time she was near people fighting at the mall recently.

The first time was "a day or two" after Thanksgiving, when she saw two girls hitting each other at the mall near the JC Penney concourse. The second time was a Dec. 9 fight in the mall's food court.

"Someone should do something about it. I am just fed up with it," Mrs. Van Buren said. "I am at the point when I am afraid to go [to the mall] without my husband."

Derek Minley, 18, of 3224 Bryant Ct. in Toledo, was indicted on one count of felonious assault by a Lucas County grand jury Dec. 19 in connection with the Dec. 9 mall fight, which occurred at about 8 that evening.

Mr. Minley, who was treated for a cut on his head, and a 15-year-old boy, who also was hurt, were charged in the incident. The boy was charged with delinquency in connection with aggravated riot and resisting arrest.

It was not clear whether the altercation Mrs. Van Buren saw shortly after Thanksgiving was related to a Nov. 25 disturbance that resulted in aggravated robbery charges against several suspects, and in which numerous people, including mall security and loss-prevention officers from JC Penney, were injured.



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