By Mary Austin
When you think about Destiny USA, does violence come to mind? It might if you’ve been paying attention to the news of late: On Feb. 18 a department store was robbed and the police has to use a stun gun on the suspect. Feb. 21 a fight broke out in Billy Beez when a man threw plush balls at a woman. March 3 a woman assaulted a TGI Fridays employee. March 8 there was a fatal car crash outside of the entrance to the Canyon. March 12 a man prevented a woman from committing suicide by leaping over the railing. March 14 there was a power outage. In addition to all these recent situations, the terrorist group ISIS published a list of malls that they wanted to be bombed, and Destiny was in the top five, according to syracuse.com.
In light of all these events, there are many people that are concerned for their safety when they enter Destiny USA. Freshman Catherine Cargian is worried about being targeted because she is a teenager so she is very “vulnerable and could be easily harmed.” Chorus teacher Elizabeth Quackenbush will only go to the mall in the “daylight and on weekdays,” and only if her husband is with her. Juniors Makayla Kazacus and Shavez Roberts both say going to the mall is not worth jeopardizing their safety and freshman Micaela Lichenstein agrees; she is not willing to risk her life for material things. Freshman Kellen Mulvihill will be limiting his visits to the mall because he “wants to live.”
Band teacher Dan Blumenthal was at Destiny USA on March 14 when National Grid was working on a high voltage piece of equipment, which resulted in a power outage, according to syracuse.com. However, Mr. Blumenthal said that it wasn’t that he was scared, there was just a moment of “woah, what’s going on?” Mr. Blumenthal also added that word spread throughout the mall very quickly as to what was happening so the panic dissolved as people became aware of what went on. This shows that Destiny may be ready to handle such incidents.
District Attorney William Fitzpatrick believes there should be a police substation installed in the mall so more situations like these do not happen, as reported on syracuse.com. However, the mayor’s secretary Alexander Marion, stated that “we generally do not place police substations on private property, because the placement of police substations are all based on statistics.”
Despite all of these events, some customers of the mall are not going to limit their visits to purchase things. Junior Hailey Harrigan said that going to the mall is worth it because she “really likes clothes.” Freshman Lauren Saletsky agrees; “I’m not scared of going to the mall because I know how to protect myself.” It is unnecessary to limit the amount of visits to the mall, believes Cargian, however she will make sure she is with “a trustworthy adult. ” These events will not stop senior Hunter Siegel-Cook from going to the mall because in a dangerous situation he wouldn’t “try to be a hero;” he would file a police report and let the situation solve itself. Junior Jan Ramirez adds that he could fight someone off with self defense and then would find an authorized personnel to find the person(s) who did the act. Junior Collin McKee also is not scared to go to the mall because he went this past weekend and was fine. Spanish teacher Mike Obrien doesn’t feel nervous about his own safety, however “would I want my kids walking alone around Destiny? Probably not.”