Alexandria mall: Teens can only enter with adult

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - Officials at a central Louisiana shopping mall are adopting restrictions on entry by teenagers on Friday and Saturday nights.

Alexandria Mall officials said Tuesday that anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult from 5 p.m. until close on Friday and Saturday evenings.

"We have experienced, particularly on Friday and Saturday evenings, a large number of unsupervised youths," said mall General Manager John Benton. "It has caught the attention of our merchants and our patrons. We have an obligation to take care of our retailers and our customers."

The Town Talk reports that Benton did not go into detail about problems with unsupervised young people. However, he made it clear that the issue had escalated to the point that many tenants and shoppers were not comfortable. He said mall merchants were "one of the primary catalysts for the new program" and were "near unanimous" in their support.

The program is being branded "(at)5 Family Weekends" because it's intended to put the focus back on a family friendly atmosphere in the mall. The policy will be enforced by mall security checking identification, such as driver's license, military IDs or passports.

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