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‘We are committed to keeping Clay County safe’: Sheriff responds to Orange Park Mall disturbance

ORANGE PARK, Fla. — Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook is responding after a large group of young people caused a disturbance at the AMC Orange Park 24 theater in the Orange Park Mall on Saturday, leading to the mall being shut down.

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Cook issued the following statement on Monday afternoon:

“The Clay County Sheriff’s Office continues to partner with the county and local businesses in the Gateway to Clay initiative. Since its inception, we have seen a decrease in overall crime in the area.

“Unfortunately, a large group of young people took advantage of what should’ve been a family friendly movie theater initiative at the AMC. Upon notification of the large crowd causing issues, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office immediately sent additional resources to the mall to assist with dispersing the crowd.

“We are committed to keeping Clay County safe, and we will not allow incidents like this to define who we are as a community. Additional information on measures in place for the Orange Park Mall and AMC Theater for the Labor Day Weekend should be directed to mall officials.”

RELATED: Orange Park Mall temporarily closed due to disturbance, Clay County Sheriff’s Office says

Saturday was National Cinema Day, a $3 movie ticket promotion helped theaters nationwide attract 8.1 million moviegoers on Saturday, setting the attendance record to date for 2022.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday roughly 1,000 juveniles were on the premises of the theater when the disturbance started.

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Deputies working both on and off duty inside the mall and theater broke up the fight.

One juvenile was arrested for battery on law enforcement. There are currently no reports of injuries to law enforcement.

Deputies closed the mall and theater down due to prevent juveniles from running in and out of the mall and businesses inside the complex.

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Video from the scene showing people running from the theater.

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William Clayton

William Clayton, Action News Jax

Digital reporter and content creator for Action News Jax