OCOEE -- The AMC movie theater at West Oaks Mall is making changes after hundreds of teens rushed the movie theater this weekend.Four law enforcement agencies had to respond to the chaos Saturday at the mall in Ocoee. Monday police released surveillance video from the mall, and the 911 calls.
In the video, teens can be seen rushing one entrance of the AMC theater inside the West Oaks Mall near Orlando, and then another.
“It was just a perfect storm," said Lt. Mike Bryant with Ocoee Police Dept. "There’s a large food court area there where people can come, they can sit, they can wait for a movie. AMC has a policy that when you’re done with a movie, you’re not immediately escorted out. You can kind of hang out outside their lobby there and we just had a big group of kids that just continued to grow and grow and grow.”
A mall spokesperson said a group of minors tried to force their way in after AMC refused to sell them tickets to the film "50 Shades of Grey." The commotion led to the riot.
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The mall instituted a new policy Monday. After 9 p.m. all minors under 17 must be accompanied by an adult while on mall property. All unaccompanied minors will be escorted off the property.
The troublemakers didn’t just act out at the mall; some of the mayhem spilled into nearby shopping areas. For example, Orange County sheriff's deputies discovered a stolen car with drugs inside at a nearby parking lot.
There were also reports of shots being fired, but Ocoee police said they were unable to confirm it.
"The officers immediately dismissed it as a firecracker and when I say the officers, these are gentlemen that just came back from Afghanistan," Bryant said. "They know the sound of gunfire. They said it’s a firecracker. We dismissed it. We didn’t find any evidence of shot being fired.”
Ocoee police said they did recover a gun and two stolen cell phones after two people were robbed at gunpoint a few blocks away. They arrested three teens, but police say there is no definitive link to the mall mob.
Those three arrests are on top of the two arrests at the mall. Ocoee police arrested one teen for hitting a theater employee and another for drugs in his pocket.
On Monday, Ocoee police had a conference call with AMC and the West Oaks Mall. The mall's new ownership is about a year old, and security has only been in place a few weeks.