Police discuss mall safety after assault - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Police discuss mall safety after assault

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Following an assault at Crossroads Mall that left one man unconscious, operators met with Waterloo Police to find a way forward.

Police think 8 people assaulted Keith Hayes, 20. Police also believe the assault is related to a shooting that same night, and a fight in the emergency room of Allen Hospital.

Director of Safety Services Dan Trelka said he would call it gang activity, but said he isn't worried.

"These guys aren't as organized, they're not as violent," Trelka said. "But, they do tend to get violent with each other ... the people that attacked [Hayes] knew him. It was not someone that was randomly picked to be attacked."

Trelka said altercations like this happen at shopping malls, just like anywhere people gather in large groups.

"Sadly, these things do happen," he said. "We do need to get behind it and take care of it."

Right after the Waterloo incident, Crossroads released a statement regarding mall on the premises

"To that end it employs a nationally-known security firm, to provide security services," General Manager Gary Ogzewalla wrote, noting that police are involved when necessary.

Ogzewalla declined to comment on his meeting with Trelka today, referring instead to the previous statement.

In the end, Trelka said he isn't worried about public safety at the mall.

"I have no concern," he said. "I would take my family to Crossroads Mall. I have no concern whatsoever."

Trelka said since it's spring break, and more kids will be out unsupervised, he plans to send officers that are usually in schools to areas like the mall or library.

The reported mall assault is still under investigation.

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