New restrictions announced for teens at White Marsh Mall

Feb 25, 2019

A new teen policy is being implemented at The Avenue at White Marsh. Any child that is 12 and under must be accompanied at all times by a parent or guardian 21 years of age. After 9:00 p.m. parents must also accompany visitors under the age of 17. Teens who violate the new policy will face a three month ban from the shopping center.

Teenagers will now need escorts when they go to the White Marsh Mall at night.  A new youth policy started Friday at The Avenue at White Marsh.  It requires children age 12 and under to be accompanied at all times by a parent or guardian age 21 or older.  After 9pm, teenagers under the age of 17 must be accompanied a parent or guardian.  Any teen caught violating the policy will be banned from the mall for three months

Seven juveniles and two adults were arrested outside of White Marsh Mall just after 9 p.m. tonight following a large disturbance.

This follows an melee’ at the mall last summer in which ended with seven juveniles one adult were arrested for disorderly conduct,  and the initial arrest of the adult for assault on a police officer, second degree assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. An off-duty Baltimore County police officer---working secondary employment for the White Marsh Mall, assisted mall security officers in moving large crowds of juveniles and young adults out of the mall and off of the property one group became hostile with the officers, culminating in one adult suspect attempting to punch the police officer. The officer was able to block the punch, but as he initiated an arrest for the assault the rest of the group surrounded the officer and mall security officers. The police officer sprayed pepper spray into the air in an effort to disperse the crowd. Groups of people began running away, causing additional disturbances. Some ran into Ring Road around the mall and began blocking the free flow of traffic. Other groups crossed Honeygo Boulevard to The Avenue at White Marsh, where there is a strict 9 p.m. curfew in place. Security at the Avenue began moving the youths off of their property, as well.

Officers from the White Marsh, Parkville, Essex and Dundalk precincts responded to assist in controlling and dispersing the crowds, as well as Maryland State Police from Golden Ring Barrack and BCoPD aviation. The crowd was successfully dispersed when a large group left the area on a public transit bus. At this time police continue to patrol and monitor the area while additional juveniles await rides home but the situation is now reportedly under control.

A call for reduced bus service to the mall, drew sharp criticism and protest from transit advocates in Baltimore City. Baltimore County Council members Cathy Bevins and David Marks also called for the mall to institute a parental supervision policy on weekend evenings similar to one enforced by the Towson Town Center. Bevins, a Democrat and Marks, a Republican wrote a letter to MTA Administrator Kevin B. Quinn Jr., saying that “large crowds of youth in the evening on weekends” have “become a safety concern.”

They asked Quinn for more buses to pick people up in the mall circle and behind The Avenue in the evening on Fridays and Saturdays, but not to keep running that service until 1:30 a.m. at a stop near The Avenue.

Samuel Jordan, president of the Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition, said politicians were manipulating residents’ fear, and choosing not to “bother with the facts” or benefits of mass transit. “All public transit in this region is being stigmatized as the mode of choice for travel by black people, poor people [and] the transit-dependent,” said Jordan. “This is just the example of the kind of confusion, chaos and tension that arises wherever we have public transportation.”

No action was taken on adjusting bus service to the White Marsh Mall.