Reports of several violent incidents at the Poughkeepsie Galleria have caused some to wonder just how safe the shopping mall really is.

Recent Violent Incidents at the Poughkeepsie Galleria

On Friday, February 16, a group of teens entered Target at the Poughkeepsie Galleria and reportedly beat a 17-year-old unconscious. The violent act caused panic at the store where shoppers reported being ordered away from the front of the store by employees as swarms of people rushed towards the mall exit.

Video of another fight allegedly at the Galleria was circulating earlier this month. The clip showed what appeared to be two young teens engaged in a fistfight. Violent punches were thrown as other young teens stood around and watched, some filming the fight with their phones. Neither mall security nor store personnel were seen intervening in the extended clip. It's unclear if they were even aware of the altercation.

A. Boris
A. Boris

These incidents come after an evacuation of the Poughkeepsie Galleria in October. At the time police said that there was no immediate threat to the public, but later revealed that the mall was evacuated due to a bomb threat.

Is it Still Safe at the Poughkeepsie Galleria?

As the parent of a 12-year-old, I was justifiably concerned when my son asked permission to hang out with his friends at Bounce! on a recent Friday night. Worried about leaving him unsupervised, my wife and I decided to walk him in and check out the situation. We were relieved to see that an off-duty police officer was stationed inside and the trampoline park seemed to be well monitored by staff.

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To be safe, we decided to stay nearby and grabbed something to eat at the 110 Grill just downstairs. While we were there, a man who appeared to be under the influence began to argue with staff and became loud and physically aggressive. It was another unsettling incident that left us a bit rattled as he was escorted right next to us out of the restaurant.

A. Boris
A. Boris

Unfortunately, incidents like this have become common everywhere, not just at the mall.

Bottom Line

While it's clear that the Poughkeepsie Galleria doesn't feel as safe as it did a decade ago, neither does the rest of the world. Sadly, violent fights and incidents can occur anywhere. It's important to remain vigilant while out in public and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

I think it's generally safe to shop at the Poughkeepsie Galleria and will not hesitate to bring my family there. However, we've made it a point to educate our son about what to do in the event of a tragic incident and how to avoid becoming involved with someone who could be potentially violent. We will not avoid the mall but will remain on guard at all times -- just as we do in any other public place.

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