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Town Center Aurora mall reopens day after large disturbance

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Posted at 1:44 PM, Dec 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-27 20:31:02-05

AURORA, Colo. -- The Town Center Aurora mall reopened Tuesday morning, hours after it was closed and evacuated by police because of what authorities called a "large disturbance."

Aurora Police said officers were trying to arrest two people who were fighting in the food court on Monday night when the crowd began to circle around the officers.

"Our officers had to call for help," said Aurora Police Sgt. Chris Amsler.

Amsler said the crowd grew and there were some 500 people involved.

That's when police decided to evacuate and close the mall.

Five juveniles were arrested, police said.

On Tuesday morning, police revealed that four of the teens are girls, one is a boy, between the ages of 13 and 16.

Police said Tuesday that they believe they have all aggressors in custody.

Two people were hurt, one seriously, when the fighting continued off the mall property.

"We had some additional skirmishes at Century 16 (Theater) and also at the RTD Park n Ride," said Amsler.

Police did not release any details about the victims or their injuries.

Denver Police and the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office assisted Aurora officers in evacuating and closing the mall, police said.

"Town Center at Aurora’s top priority is the safety of our shoppers, retailers and employees. We applaud the Aurora and Denver Police Departments, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and our security team for their quick response in handling this isolated incident," said Don Cloutier, General Manager, Town Center at Aurora.

Aurora Police initially said a post on social media told people to come to the mall to witness a fight. Tuesday, police said they haven't been able to find that social media post.

There were fights at several malls around the country Monday night. Aurora Police said the department's intelligence unit is still investigating whether the Town Center incident is connected to the other brawls.

Denver7 checked crime stats at the Aurora Mall and other metro area malls. Police have responded to two shootings this year at the Aurora Mall and 12 assaults, four of them aggravated assaults, meaning there was a weapon used or someone was hurt.

Denver Police have responded to five assaults at the Cherry Creek Mall in 2016.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office did not have statistics readily available, but a spokesman told Denver7, "I can tell you just from experience, crimes against persons is not common at Southwest Plaza. We have your standard shoplifting calls, trespass to cars, etc… assaults are not something we see very often at the mall."

Lone Tree Police had not responded to our request for crime statistics at Park Meadows Mall as of Tuesday night.

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