Police department addressing juvenile complaints around Milledgeville Mall parking lot

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It's a teenage strategy that's as old as malls, themselves.

A kid will get dropped off in front of the movie theater and tell their parents that they're "going to the movies." As soon as mom or dad's car disappears from sight, the kid makes a bee line for the mall or the parking lot. This is what's leading to many of the recent 911 calls disseminating from the Milledgeville Mall property, according to Milledgeville Police Department Chief Dray Swicord.

With everyone and their grandma seemingly now having a camera built into  their phone, many of the incidents have been documented on the massive Milledgeville Roadblock Warnings Facebook page, which now has more members than actual people living in Milledgeville. On the Roadblock page, many of the incidents are described as coming from "Buffalo Wild Wings." Swicord says that Buffalo Wild Wings management actually does a good job of maintaining the peace inside of its restaurant, but it's the area of the parking lot between Buffalo Wild Wings and the mall that's largely the problem area. 

The MPD responded to the parking lot in front of Buffalo Wild Wings during each of the first two weekends in March, including one report of "multiple juveniles fighting." Baldwin2k made repeated attempts to reach out to Hull Storey, which owns and operates the mall, but there was no response. 

Another problem, according to Swicord, is "splat guns," which are gel-covered pellets with water in the middle. On multiple occasions, the MPD has responded to "splat gun" incidents in the mall parking lot. To compound matters, a handful of local teens are freezing the pellets, which makes "them extremely dangerous and capable of causing serious harm," according to Swicord.

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The MPD currently is attempting to work with Hull Storey, so far with no success. The city of Milledgeville doesn’t have a “no loitering" ordinance, which would obviously help in this situation. Instead, the city has a "no trespassing" ordinance. Essentially, Buffalo Wild Wings and the other businesses would have to post "NO TRESPASSING" signs in their storefronts. Teens essentially would have to be "in the process of going into a business or in the process of leaving a business," according to Swicord. This would help out the MPD and give it greater ability to deal with loitering, the chief added.

In the mean time, the MPD will respond to calls from the mall, as they're received. 

“We just want to let the public know  that we are aware of their concerns, and we are working to address the problem," Swicord said.

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