Torrance Vows Stepped Up Police Presence After Del Amo Fashion Center Brawl

TORRANCE (CNS) - The Torrance Police Department will be stepping up patrols and increasing its visibility in the city following a massive weekend brawl at Del Amo Fashion Center.

In a joint statement issued late Wednesday, Mayor George Chen and Police Chief Jay Hart also urged residents to quickly report any suspicious activity.

"Public Safety is our top priority. The Torrance Police Department strives to provide all community members with a safe and positive experience when visiting Torrance," they said in the joint statement. "We stand united with our community partners and oppose any individuals who come to Torrance to disrupt or violate the law. The recent disturbance at Del Amo Fashion Center was met with an immediate and robust police response to restore the area safe and methodically implement crowd control measures. As we head into the holiday season, there will be increased police presence and patrol by the Torrance Police Department. We encourage the community to report suspicious and/or criminal behavior. If you `See Something, Say Something."'

The Sunday melee at Del Amo Fashion Center erupted around 4 p.m., and some estimates indicated as many as 1,000 people -- primarily juveniles -- were involved in a rolling brawl focused primarily around an outdoor plaza anchored by an AMC theater complex. Sunday was National Cinema Day, offering $4 tickets and attracting large crowds.

The sheer size of the brawl prompted a response by Torrance police and a host of other law enforcement agencies, including officers from Gardena, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach and Los Angeles police departments, as well as Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies.

It was unclear what prompted the violence. There were some reports of similar brawls involving teens occurring at other movie theaters across the country Sunday.

Officers confirmed through a witness that a firearm was discharged at Del Amo Fashion Center, but they could not locate any victims, officials said.

Police reported that the mall had been cleared by 9 p.m. Sunday. No major injuries were reported, although at least one teen could be seen falling to the ground and repeatedly kicked and punched by a group of juveniles until a man stepped in and chased the assailants off. Video posted on social media also showed various fistfights and brawls among smaller groups of people.

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