Calgary police ramp up patrols at Chinook mall after large crowds, fights on Black Friday

A number of fights at Chinook Centre Friday evening resulted in an increased police presence Saturday.

A video posted on Twitter showed hundreds of teenagers walking through the mall, and witnesses said a number of fights broke out.

Ron Brosilvsei — who owns the Custom T-Shirts kiosk at Chinook — said he lost customers because of the incidents.

“There was a big fight but we saw multiple smaller fights. One of the guys that was fighting almost [hit] one of the kids,” Brosilvsei said. “She was standing and ordering shirts then was pushed so we lost a customer. She just said she didn’t want to shop there today”

Read more: COVID-19: Black Friday brings new safety measures at Calgary malls

In a statement, Cadillac Fairview — the company that owns and operates Chinook Mall — said police officers were called to deal with the incidents.

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“A group of youth came to the centre last evening and unfortunately impeded traffic flow and caused disturbances throughout the centre,” the statement said. “[The crowd] resulted in a combined effort of numerous police officers attending the site to support our security team in attempts to exit them from the mall.”

Police said 20 officers were deployed to the mall Saturday to keep the peace, despite no tickets being issued Friday.

Brosilvsei said he hopes Cadillac Fairview takes Friday’s incident seriously.

“They need to re-enforce their security, and, until then, bring more police officers to make sure the safety of everybody,” he said.

Read more: No in-person Santa visits at Chinook Centre, Market Mall due to COVID-19

Calgary police said officers on patrol at Chinook would also be watching for compliance of the mask bylaw, but the focus would be education, not enforcement.

Officers would not be monitoring the new capacity limits for retail spaces, police added.

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At Chinook Mall, each individual store had it’s maximum number of customers posted at the entrance, and Cadillac Fairview said it was also monitoring the number of shoppers.

“In addition to on-site security teams — who are constantly monitoring traffic flow — we use industry-standard occupancy counters to help our property teams manage access to the property when we reach capacity limits,” a company statement said.

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