The Omaha Police Department cited five people Thursday evening, including four juveniles, for fighting, disorderly conduct or failure to disperse at Westroads Mall.

The relaxing evening of shopping briefly became a mall brawl. The police fired at least one pepper ball as the chaos and crowd of gawkers extended into the parking lot. Police reports indicate that the incident took place about 8:15 p.m.

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Officer Joseph Nickerson said no injuries were reported. But he described the scene as “a large disturbance involving mostly juveniles (and) some fighting, inside the mall.” The individuals cited were five males, including a 19-year-old, three 16-year-olds and a 13-year-old.

A 15-year-old girl had a verbal altercation with a male, a report said, and the girl “got her brother, who ended up fighting” with the person. The girl apparently was struck as well.

Nickerson said a crowd apparently spilled outside, where the pepper ball or multiple pepper balls were fired.

Westroads senior general manager Jim Sadler said in a prepared statement that it was a disheartening but “isolated” incident. “We strive every day to create a safe, peaceful environment for our community,” he said.

Sadler thanked the Omaha Police Department for its work.

rick.ruggles@owh.com, 402-444-1123

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