SAN FRANCISCO—In the past week, multiple fights involving school-aged children occurred at the Stonestown Galleria.
According to those employed at the mall, the violence erupted around 4 p.m. Friday, March 17, inside of a Target. Cellphone video depicts a group of students with backpacks punching and kicking a person inside the store. One of them can be seen slamming a victim to the ground. In an attempt to protect himself, the victim covered his head with his hands as he was repeatedly struck. A crowd of young people gathered around recording the incident.
After that altercation, another fight broke transpired at the Stonestown Mall food court where two victims were assaulted. According to reports, the attackers focused on one of the victims during the assault. One of the victims tried running away. It is unknown if the perpetrators were the same group of kids from the previous attack at the Target.
On Wednesday, March 15, there were other fights amongst students at the same location. Security guards were attacked for trying to break up these fights before.
“Stonestown Mall in San Francisco at the food court. It’s not safe or peaceful like before. Juveniles wreak havoc daily and don’t spend a dime there. Many parents told us they don’t allow their kids to go there after school anymore,” wrote sfstreets415 on Instagram.
According to some locals, violence among teens occurs frequently at Stonestown although authorities indicate it isn’t a common occurrence.
Supervisor Myrna Melgar sent out an advisory for parents on Sunday, March 19, warning parents to keep an eye out for their kids due to the upsurge in violent encounters among youth both on and off campus.
“Over the past couple of weeks, there have been altercations between young folks at Stonestown mall resulting in physical injuries,” Melgar wrote. “Stonestown private security was overwhelmed and SFPD officers were deployed. Videos of the altercations have been posted and promoted on Instagram live.”
She’s been communicating with San Francisco Unified School District because the incidents are transpiring after school hours, particularly Wednesdays which are early release days.
Melgar further said that the school district should be taking advantage of funding passed under Prop G, for after-school programming. And she said she would be working with the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families to find solutions as well.
“We must support the kids- and keep them safe along with everyone else. We have a robust network of folks working with youth in communities throughout the City,” Melgar wrote.
The San Francisco Police Department are increasing their patrols at the Stonestown Galleria as of Monday, March 20. It is unknown if police have made any arrests or what led up to each incident.