JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Boston’s owner Nimesh Patel loves living and working in North Jacksonville, but when he saw a large group of teenagers running from the movie theater Christmas night, he took action.
“So we locked our doors, secured it. Anybody could leave if they wanted to leave but nobody could come in until we figured out what was going on,” Patel said.
Patel says his customers were safe and that he saw JSO secure the scene quickly as hundreds of teens ran into the parking lot.
But a local parent Action News spoke to had a different story.
Danny McMillin says he was trying to pick up his daughters and that the scene was chaotic.
“Everywhere I drove to try and pick up my daughter and stuff like this, they were talking about 'If you don't move they going to take you to jail,' and then my daughter walked over to Red Lobster and they told her if she moves again that they were going to take her to jail,” said McMillin.
JSO said officers established safe zones for parents to show identification and pick up their kids.
McMillin said the plan wasn’t that clear.
“I mean, they're going to tell a parent to move and go somewhere else and wherever you went to it still wasn't safe. It just wasn't safe,” said McMillin.
Patel believes the area is safe, and although this isn’t the first time he’s experienced a Christmas Day incident at the mall, he plans to be open on Christmas 2014, with one request for JSO.
“I think just having a better presence would hopefully eliminate that next year."