Manassas Mall, according to VCDL, has a no weapons policy. Could this have been averted had the victim or another patron been armed?

An 18-year-old Manassas-area man was beaten while eating a meal at Manassas Mall around 7:20 p.m. Monday, said Sharon Richardson, Prince William police spokeswoman.

According to police, two boys had followed the man while he was shopping at the mall in the 8300 block of Sudley Road near Manassas and asking him what he was doing.

Police said the man ignored them and went to buy some food, when apparently the boys returned with two older men.

They beat the man, Richardson said, and stole his wallet and cell phone.

Police said the victim was able to escape his attackers.

The two boys who followed the man were described as black and between 14 and 17 years old. One was about 5 feet 10 inches tall and 140 pounds; the other was approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall and 150 pounds, police said.

The two older men were described as black, between 30 and 40 years old. One was about 5 feet 11 inches tall and 190 pounds; the other was about 5 feet 9 inches tall with a medium build, police said.