Boston to step up youth services to combat attack by group of children – CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Boston Mayor Michelle Wu is pledging to strengthen youth services to get to the root of what recently prompted a group of children to violently attack people in different Boston neighborhoods. “These are children who need support and services and they are connected to adults who also need to have some responsibility,” Wu said on Friday.
The latest incident took place during an attack on the Boston Common on Wednesday around 6.30pm just outside the Earl of Sandwich store. Police said the suspects were five children between the ages of 11 and 14. “They absolutely must be taken to court,” Earl of Sandwich chief executive Christopher Tinney said. “I know they’re young kids so they might have a hard time doing it, but obviously something has to be done,” he said.
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According to the Boston police report, two Suffolk University students witnessed the group insulting a woman and a child. The college students “…told the group that they should behave better and leave the woman alone…”
They say the children turned on one of them and “…started punching…and knocked her glasses off her face. She then stepped on the glasses before hit her again.Police say they have summoned two of the children to juvenile court, but because they are so young, they will not face formal charges.
It has Suffolk students like Brieajah Ayers carrying a mace. “You wouldn’t expect a little kid to like to come attack you. It’s weird for me and it makes me feel uncomfortable because I live here,” she said.
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Police believe the same group of minors were involved in attacks at a Roxbury McDonalds on Sunday. Bottles and rocks were thrown at customers and employees. Police say they returned the next day swinging a metal cane. A 13-year-old is facing charges in juvenile court in the case.
Police also linked the children to the damage to Downtown Crossing last week. Windows were smashed and a woman was beaten.
“We’re looking to make sure that when we know the specific identities of people, there’s a very targeted intervention that will provide those supports,” Mayor Wu said.
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She said the city plans to extend community center hours and focus on mental health services for children.