BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Can’t make this up. The mass panic that overtook Boca Raton’s Town Center Mall and social media on Sunday was all over a balloon. Despite several people posting that it was “absolutely gunfire” to social media — even blasting the police for “lying” and media for “making up facts” once it was reported that there was no gunfire, the official story is this: a custodian pushing a cart in the food court area ran over a balloon. That led to mass chaos and one man running so fast that he hit his head on a door, causing a cut that left blood.
Those are all the ingredients needed for chaos in 2019.
Here’s the official release from Boca Raton PD:
On October 13, 2019 at approximately 3:00 p.m., Boca Raton Police responded to multiple reports of shots fired in the food court area at the Town Center mall. Boca Raton Police officers were already on the property and provided an immediate response.
Officer Kenneth Fong found a male in the parking lot near Bloomingdale’s who was suffering from a traumatic injury to his head. The male was a Creole speaker and he was drifting in and out of consciousness, so he was unable to initially provide any information about what occurred or how he was injured. Officer Fong treated the victim, put him into his patrol vehicle and moved him to a safe location to meet Fire Rescue. The victim was transported to Delray Medical Center.
As we received multiple calls of shots fired, Boca Raton Police officers continued searching the mall for any threats and victims. Numerous agencies from around the region responded to assist with the search and the evacuation of patrons.
Through video and other physical evidence (blood and hair), Boca Raton Police detectives determined the victim’s traumatic injury was sustained after his head hit the push bar on a door as he was evacuating the mall.
Boca Raton Police investigators also found a video which shows a janitor pushing a garbage cart through the food court area. The garbage cart rolled over and dragged a balloon. The janitor said that he popped the balloon and detectives later found a popped balloon on the floor. There appears to be a delay of a couple of minutes between when the janitor popped the balloon and when patrons are seen fleeing the area. Video footage shows people in the food court visibly react to a loud sound in the area. Other witnesses indicate that they heard a balloon pop.
The extensive investigation did not reveal that any crime occurred. There was no evidence that a weapon had been used. Extra officers have been assigned to the mall as businesses have resumed normal operations. If anyone would like additional information, please contact Officer Jessica Desir at (561) 338-1269.