50 squad cars descended upon the Ford City Mall in southwest Chicago Sunday to restore order when 100 to 200 kids rioted after a Mindless Behavior appearance.
The teeny bopper group made an appearance at the food court in the mall earlier in the day to promote their new release, “All Around the World,” John Sarama, the mall’s senior general manager, told the Chicago Tribune.
The group signed autographs for approximately 1,000 parents and children, Sarama said.
About 45 minutes after the band left, roving bands of youths began fighting each other.
“A group of older youths came into the mall with the intent of causing havoc and chaos and were running through the mall, screaming, yelling and so forth,” Sarama said.
Security called police and the mall was shut down, the Chicago Tribune reports.
19 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 were arrested, and two people, including a CTA bus driver, were taken to local hospitals, said Chicago Fire Department Chief Joe Roccasalva, a department spokesman.
The charges ranged from assault and battery to destruction of property.
The chaos spilled outside the mall, tying up traffic which eventually came to a standstill as kids jumped on cars.
Police say Mindless Behavior’s appearance did not spark the riot.