BOSTON (WHDH) – Police are stepping up patrols around Boston Common after they say a group of kids believed to be responsible for several attacks around the city struck again Wednesday night.
Officers responding to the Common near the Earl of Sandwich at 6:30 p.m. that night were told two students walking to the eatery were harassed by a group of five kids aged 11 to 14-years-old yelling and swearing at them, police said.
A young girl in the group then punched one of the women, according to police. Her glasses fell to the floor and the kids stepped on the lenses.
Responding officers reviewed surveillance video and noted the instigator is “well known to officers as she has been terrorizing unsuspecting citizens of downtown Boston.”
Julius Smith works close to the most recent attack and lives next to the Mcdonald’s in Roxbury where police say the same young people threw rocks and bottles at customers and employees on Sunday.
“All I can give them is tell them to be better that’s it. Just go on the right path, don’t do anything to keep going down this road. It’s just bad,” he said.
Police said the juveniles involved in the attack are linked to other recent acts of violence in the city, including an attack on a person in Downtown Crossing earlier in the month that sent a young woman to the hospital and an assault of rocks and water bottles thrown at customers outside a Roxbury McDonald’s earlier in the week. An 11-year-old and two 13-year-olds were arrested after the McDonald’s attack.
While officers say they have identified two of the kids behind this recent crime, Massachusetts law states that children under 12-years-old cannot be charged and limits the ability of law enforcement agencies to hold children under the age of 14.
“Under this legislation, the primary responsibility for preventing these attacks instead falls on city, state and community agencies. We urge those agencies to take every possible measure to intervene with the children involved,” DA Kevin Hayden wrote in a statement.
Youth advocate Nikki Flionis said there is a way to get to these troubled kids.
“You do have to ‘pay’ – if you will – ‘pay’ for what you’ve done but you go into a program where if you don’t go then maybe you end up going to court or jail but you go somewhere, you do things that are ultimately going to change your life,” she said.
Suffolk University police said they’ve also increased patrols in the Common as well as the Downtown Crossing area. An e-mail to students from Suffolk University officials warns them to watch out for the group.
“If you see this group of juveniles, do not engage them, walk away, and report any criminal activity to the Boston Police Department by dialing 911,” the e-mail reads in part.
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