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South Hill Mall brawl leaves man hurt, teen in custody; search continues for accomplices

PUYALLUP, Wash. — A brawl at the South Hill Mall left one man hurt, a teenager in custody and four other teenagers wanted for assault.

The victims say it began after a group of teenagers was stopped from stealing from a T-shirt kiosk.

That brawl left a cousin of the kiosk’s owner badly beaten.

That victim says he moved here from Egypt, hoping for a better life. So, as you might guess, he is stunned by what happened Saturday night at the South Hill Mall.

He didn’t want to show his face on camera, but he showed the bruises he got during this vicious attack.

The teenagers went after both of them, he says, when they recognized them from a theft earlier on Saturday.

“They go away and they come back with their friends,” he said. “I don’t know how many they were. But they were bullying us and we were starting to call security. Security was right there but they didn’t do anything.”

He says the teenagers first attacked his cousin. He tried to intervene.

“That’s my cousin,” he said, pointing him out in a cellphone video. “This one, yeah.”

Then the teenagers went after him. In the video, you can see him in a green sweater trying to fight off the armed swarm of teenagers.

“And that’s all of our merchandise in there,” he said, which the teenagers were using to beat him. “Yeah.”

He manages to break free.

“And he’s starting after me to hit me with the stand,” he said. “And someone pushed me. So, I fell down.”

He says he doesn’t remember much about the beating. “No.”

By the time Puyallup police officers arrived, the group had scattered. But Capt. Don Bourbon says they counted five suspects, ranging in age from 15-to-17, all from Pierce County.

At least one teenager was arrested.

“We have two identified,” Capt. Bourbon said. “The detectives are still working on the three others.”

He advises business owners to call for help before this happens.

“Obviously, the best thing is to call 911,” said Capt. Bourbon. “You don’t want to confront individuals who are being aggressive toward you.”

A spokesman for South Hill Mall says the mall is “thoroughly appalled” by this violence.

The mall wants the teenagers prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Its lawyers are working right now to ban the teenagers from this mall for life.

The mall is also doing a comprehensive review of its security — both electronic and human surveillance — to prevent future brawls.

Puyallup police are also planning additional patrols here on weekends.

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