An upscale suburban Cleveland shopping mall where police broke up a post-Christmas melee with pepper spray joined other shopping complexes in Ohio and the US on Friday in restricting children 17 and under from entering during certain weekend hours. The AP reports Beachwood Place announced new rules this week that juveniles must be accompanied by a parent or an adult 21 years or older after 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The new rules were put in place less than two weeks after police and security officials in Beachwood and at malls in other states were confronted by large groups of people fighting and causing disturbances on Dec. 26. Hundreds of people were reportedly involved in the Beachwood Place melee.
General Growth Properties, the owner of Beachwood Place, has similar restrictions at some of its malls outside Ohio. The new rules call for mall security guards to be stationed at entrances to ask teens and their adult supervisors to show identification. Unaccompanied children must leave the mall at 5pm. Stephanie Cegielski, the trade group spokesperson, provided a list of just over 100 malls and shopping complexes in the US with weekend restrictions. Privately owned shopping malls have the right to enforce such restrictions on juveniles, said Gary Daniels, of the ACLU of Ohio. Legal problems would surface only if a mall discriminates in how the rules are enforced, he said. (Read more mall stories.)