Police crack down on teen violence downtown

IMPD watches mall, bus stops

INDIANAPOLIS - New efforts to crack down on teen violence began Saturday night outside Circle Centre Mall.

Police aimed to send the message that violence will not be tolerated.

“If they didn’t get the message, we’re going to greet them at the door and let them know we’re enforcing the rules of the mall,” said Police Chief Rick Hite.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department chose the mall’s busiest night of the week to show their force.

“It’s sad, but it makes me feel a little bit better knowing they’re there, so if there’s a problem, something has got to be done,” said parent Karla Powrie.

The increased police presence is spreading beyond the mall and on to IndyGo buses and bus stops.

Police said the problems start when the mall closes and teens make their way to public transportation.

IMPD Gang Unit detectives are watching out for anyone with known gang ties.

“(It’s a) good idea. There’s a lot of people like us. We’re not even from Indy, so it’s good to know I’m not going to get jumped for what I’m worth while I’m coming to the mall just trying to have a good time,” said shopper Mark Leclerc.

IMPD said throughout the last year, police were called to the mall for more than 25 assaults.

A fight last weekend involving teenagers ended with one shooting a gun toward pedestrians.

Authorities said these efforts won’t stop until the violence ends.

“The whole idea is we’re sending the message all over the city that violence is no longer acceptable,” Hite said.

Police said Saturday night was quiet and believe many teens stayed in after learning of the increased police presence.

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