Police responded to a fight in the Hamilton Place Dick’s Sporting Goods on March 12, and once they arrived, the manager told them an employee had gotten caught up in the fight and had his finger broken. The ruckus inside the store also involved guns being pulled, fist fights and merchandise knocked around.
Ariel Sanders, 26, of 1905 S. Beech St., is charged with aggravated riot, aggravated assault, disorderly conduct and child neglect.
Police caught up to three women who said they were assaulted by four men with guns. Officers said they were allowed to leave since the police did not have much information at the time. Police later looked at the security footage and saw four males walk into the store while arguing with Ariel Sanders and another woman.
Police said Ariel Sanders was holding an eight month-old child in her arms, and the other was trying to keep another man standing behind them away from the four men. A fight broke out, and police said they saw one of the men pulling something out of his waistline. At that point three men “threw themselves” at the man and began fighting. One of the employees was near one of the shelves and caught in the fight, resulting in a broken finger. Police said the employee's bone was sticking out.
Police said they saw Ariel Sanders running with the child still in her arms and getting into the fight. Police said after a while, the fight separated into two distinct fights, with both groups hitting each other with whatever they could grab. Police said one man pulled a gun out and pointed it at another man’s face.
Most of those involved ran out of the store, but a few were still around when law enforcement arrived. Police said they appended one on-scene, and saw one man and three women leaving from a second floor entrance. Police said they told the group to stop, but that they did not comply.
Police said Ariel Sanders went to Children’s Hospital and said her son had been attacked by a man. Police spoke with the woman, who said she and her family were in the mall when four men started to harass her and then punched the child. Police saw minor swelling on the child’s face, but not serious injuries.
Police also found a cellphone belonging to one of the combatants at the scene. Police said they planned to charge each of those involved with aggravated riot, aggravated assault, and disorderly conduct. Two of the males will be charged with reckless endangerment and unlawful possession of a firearm, since Hamilton Place is a no firearm zone. Ariel Sanders was charged with the child neglect because her involvement in the fight caused her child to be harmed.