Shoplifter’s friends attack security at Westfield Southlake mall
By Carole Carlson firstname.lastname@example.org | 648-3154 November 19, 2012 5:16PM
Updated: December 21, 2012 6:16AM
HOBART — Friends of a fleeing shoplifter at Westfield Southlake mall fought with police and mall security Sunday as police subdued one suspect with a Taser in a mall corridor.
The incident comes a week after a Gary teen fired a gun inside the mall. On Sunday, police arrested three Lansing, Ill., residents and a Highland teen in connection with the fight.
Detective Sgt. Jeremy Ogden said the incident unfolded at 3:55 p.m. at Zumiez, a popular skateboard apparel store. A store manager told police he saw Kyle C. Galloy, 20, of Lansing, Ill., attempt to exit the store wearing a $59.95 sweatshirt he took into a fitting room.
Ogden said Galloy was wearing the sweatshirt and removed it for the manager who called mall security. Galloy tried to flee, but was apprehended by Hobart Patrolman Steve Aponte.
While Aponte was escorting Galloy through the mall, a woman began shouting profanities at Aponte. Aided by mall security, police arrested Amber Van Hoose, 19, of Highland, for disorderly conduct.
Meanwhile, Ogden said two other men identified as Eugene McCall, 20, and Oneill Cruz, 19, both of Lansing, began kicking a mall security officer. Ogden said Cruz struck the officer with his fist.
Hobart Patrolmen Luke Tambrini and Scott Shaginaw arrived to take Cruz and McCall into custody. When Cruz resisted, officers used a stun gun to subdue him.
Ogden said no police officer was injured and Cruz was taken to the St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart for treatment.
All four face charges in Lake Superior Court. Galloy was charged with conversion and resisting law enforcement; McCall and Cruz with battery on a police officer and Van Hoose with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. All the charges are misdemeanors, Ogden said.
Last week’s gunplay and Sunday’s confrontation come as the regional shopping mall prepares for its busiest shopping season.
Ogden said the mall has added more security personnel and off-duty police.
“People are safe at the mall. There will be increased police presence during the holiday,” Ogden said.
He said police met last week with Westfield Southlake manager Peter Karonis and they have a strong partnership.
Ogden said mall security officers have begun approaching people gathering in parties of three or more. “You could be asked to leave the area and disperse,” he said. The officers are handing out cards with the mall’s “code of conduct” that includes 17 rules.
On Nov. 10, four Gary teens were involved in a fight that culminated with a gunshot into the mall’s ceiling.