Torrance, CA –January 1, 2024
In a tumultuous turn of events near the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, five juveniles were arrested, and two individuals, including a police officer, were injured during a chaotic gathering of approximately 1,000 youths. The incident, which unfolded on December 31, drew a swift multi-agency response as it spilled into 34 nearby businesses. Notably, there were no reports of looting or vandalism.
The disturbance commenced at around 4:31 p.m. on Saturday, prompting the closure of surrounding streets for over seven hours as law enforcement worked to disperse the crowd, as reported by the Torrance Police Department.
The arrested individuals, three girls, and two boys hailed from nearby cities such as Hawthorne, Los Angeles, Gardena, and Compton, according to Torrance police spokesman Sgt. Ron Salary. One arrestee’s address remains unknown.
The injured Torrance police officer and a juvenile received on-site treatment and did not require hospitalization. Witnesses on social media mentioned that an employee from a mall store sustained a minor laceration to the face while attempting to intervene in the situation.
Torrance Police Chief Jay Heart expressed his disappointment, stating, “The lawless acts we witnessed [Saturday night] do not reflect the values of our Torrance community.” He reaffirmed the commitment of the Torrance Police Department and regional law enforcement partners to restore order swiftly.
Torrance Mayor George K. Chen condemned the disturbance and urged the community to strive for better behavior. “Crimes committed by youth or adults that are pre-planned and organized to loot and destroy property are not acceptable,” he stated, emphasizing the need for serious consequences within the criminal justice system.
The incident was initially reported by Torrance police officers on routine foot patrol at Del Amo Mall, who observed a growing group of unruly juveniles. As the situation escalated, additional “law enforcement agencies” were summoned, including the “Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department” and “police departments” from Los Angeles, Inglewood, Hawthorne, Gardena, El Segundo, Culver City, Hermosa Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Redondo Beach, and Manhattan Beach.
A helicopter from the LAPD Air Support Division was also deployed to the scene. A skirmish line was formed, dispersal orders were issued, and the juveniles were directed away from the mall property and surrounding businesses.
Despite the large-scale response, there were no reports of looting, and incidents of vandalism were minimal. Del Amo Fashion Center, originally scheduled to remain open until 9 p.m., closed around 5 p.m. due to the disturbance.
Temporary street closures included Carson Street from Madrona Avenue to Del Amo Circle East, Del Amo Circle East from Carson Street to Fashion Way, and Fashion Way from Madrona Avenue to Amie Avenue. All streets reopened shortly after 11 p.m. on Saturday, restoring normalcy to the area.