MANCHESTER — Three women arrested in a massive Manchester mall brawl appeared in court Thursday facing charges including inciting a riot.
Manchester police said they made four arrests Wednesday night following a brawl that involved up to 300 people at the Shoppes at Buckland Hills. At 6 p.m., officers responded to a report of a large fight and disturbances inside of the mall.
Police arrested Dynastee McCoy, Inaeja Williams, Naejza Bates and a 17-year-old boy, who they said had a gun.
“There was a report that someone had pepper-sprayed while this fight was going on,” said Lieutenant Ryan Shea of the Manchester Police Department. “Due to the large number of people involved, we asked for mutual aid to respond.”
In Milford, fights and disturbances Wednesday night at Connecticut Post Mall forced the mall to close early. Police officers are still working to figure out if the incidents were all related and pre-planned.
A similar incident took place in 2016 at the mall and police believed that time, it was planned on social media.
“It was very unnerving to think that’s happening at a place we go to all the time and don’t think twice,” said Claire Taylor of South Windsor, who changed her Thursday shopping plans because of what happened Wednesday night.
“We are kind of just avoiding it,” said Taylor. “We’ve been going there for years and it always just seemed safe and we wouldn’t think something like that would occur in our neighborhood.”
Parents of the women arrested insist they are innocent. They are scheduled to appear in court again in January.