Efforts to move up curfew underway

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Teenagers in Baton Rouge could see a change in curfew time if the new mayor pro tem gets his way.  The mall brawl from the Saturday night has fueled talk of this.

Blue lights and crime scene tape replacing shoppers and diners, it's something that's happened at least three times at the Mall of Louisiana since 2012.  It's why EBR Metro Council Mayor Pro-Tem Chandler Loupe is once again reviving the curfew conversation.  As of now, the parish and Capital City do have a curfew in place.

"11 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, and that's for 16 years old and under," said BRPD Cpl. Tommy Stubbs.

Loupe wants to move it up to midnight on the weekends and have the curfew apply to anyone 17 and under.  The weekday 11 p.m. would remain untouched.  Of course there are exceptions: adult supervision, working or emergencies.

"When kids stay out late at night, bad things happen or tend to happen, and a lot of our violent crime happens at night," said Stubbs.

Even though the proposed curfew would not have applied Saturday at the mall, Loupe said he wants to start a discussion.  Two years ago in February, shots rang out across the street from Perkins Rowe, and the private property was having problems with large crowds gathering.  In response, Loupe said the general manager instated a curfew specifically for Perkins Rowe.

"17 and under past 8 p.m.  It's been over a year, and I can't recall any large gatherings where we had to do what we did," said Loupe.

He wants the Mall of Louisiana to follow in their footsteps.  Last year in January, two bystanders were shot by the Boulevard at the Mall of Louisiana.  Just one month later, deputies were back after chaos erupted over a handful of some much-anticipated Nike shoes, and now this past Saturday's event.

"We can't let that type of environment continue to exist," said Loupe.

The mall's general manager refused to go on camera but told 9News in a statement they do have a public safety program in place, review it often and make necessary changes if needed.  That's what parents want now.

"Get some strict rules going and cut some of that stuff down," said Wesley Smith, who was at the mall Saturday.

9News asked mall officials if there would be any changes because of Saturday's huge fight or even a curfew.  No one responded to our questions.

Loupe said he plans to wait some time before introducing the curfew hoping to get public input.

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