Officials at a Brooklyn mall say they're investigating a video of several security guards appearing to punch, choke and kick at least one teenage boy as outraged onlookers plead for the men to stop.
Witness Shaunternett Melton posted video of the fight on Facebook Oct. 5. She said mall security officers at Kings Plaza Mall started to follow two teenagers when they began arguing.
"He was walking out of the mall by Modell's, and a whole bunch of security guards, they just started attacking him," she said at a news conference with community advocate Tony Herbert. "Punching him, kicking him in his head while he was on the floor being choked."
One guard is seen in the video placing his hand over one teen's neck as he was already restrained on the ground.
"We can't tell these kids to act civil and professional in society when those who have the authority and are trained professionally can't do the same," Herbert said.
Police confirmed they were called to the mall for a report of a disorderly crowd that day. Officers were told by mall security that a 17-year-old boy assaulted one of the security guards, according to the NYPD.
The teen was arrested and charged with assault, trespassing and disorderly conduct. It's not clear if the arrested teen was the one in the video.
A property management official for the Kings Plaza Mall says the company is looking into the "disturbing" video and is working with police and AlliedBarton Security Services, the company that employs the security officers involved, as part of the investigation.
Viewers who watched the video on Facebook expressed shock.
"Did he steal something? If not, why are their hands on him like that? There is a big difference between law and policy. Those gentlemen will have a lot of explaining to do if that young man didn't put his hands on them or confiscate anything," said one woman.
"Someone should have helped this boy, no matter what he did, he didn't deserve to be beat up like he was some type of animal," another commenter said. "Look how big those men were compared to him."
Kings Plaza Mall has seen its share of violent confrontations. Last December, a large brawl involving hundreds of teens prompted a short-lived policy banning minors from entering the mall without a guardian and a rollout of additional NYPD officers.
Follow Ida Siegal on Twitter @idasiegal4NY