These Kids These Days

Park Street resident Stan Tatum is tired of those darned kids and their wicked ways, WINA reports. They’re always running around the mall, shouting obscenities, and Tatum demands that something be done. The police have agreed to increase their presence downtown, hopefully to tell these children to walk at a more reasonable pace. In times like this, we must ask ourselves: what would T. Herman Zweibel do?

28 thoughts on “These Kids These Days”

  1. Wow. It’s like he’s *asking* these kids to toilet paper his house. ;) Has he ever read Dennis the Menace? I feel like we’re trying to compete with Utah lately. Anyone want to sponsor a free run of Footloose at the Jefferson? I’m frightened.

  2. At the risk of sounding like an old fart myself (geez, I’m only 41) if there were “kids” running around the mall shouting obscenities, I too would want the city police to take some notice. Honestly, any one doing that is just begging for attention any way.

    That having been said, I’ve not noticed a plethora of foul-mouthed juniors running amuck downtown. My sensitive ears get assaulted if I ever have to walk down fraternity row…:^)

  3. Yeah, but what are the cops going to do? Enforce our anti-obscenity statute? If they do that, I’m going to stand in front of City Hall and read through some James Joyce until they arrest me. Maybe they’ll demand that the kids walk at a pace not to exceed 2 mph?

    I mean, sure, their behavior is unpleasant, but whatever the solution might be, it ought not involve the police. (Save for our excellent [IMHO] community policing program.)

  4. Well, what *is* the solution?

    A couple years ago there were some teen-age kids that lived up the street from us that for some reason thought it was funny to shout obscenities at us and our kids whenever any of us were outside. I asked ’em to stop several times, and they wouldn’t. So after a couple of weeks of this I called the cops on ’em. The police came down and explained (nicely) to the kids the difference between free speech and harassment (mainly, that of intent), and that what they were doing was obviously harassment, and that harassment has consequences if they don’t cut it out.

    Fortunately the cops also explained to them that if any vandalism was done to any of our property that those kids would be the first ones to go downtown. :)

    If kids are standing around the mall talking to themselves and cussing, I could care less. Doesn’t it cross some kind of line if they’re running up to diners and yelling profanity at them? Isn’t that what this article is about? Or did I miss something?

  5. what they were doing was obviously harassment, and that harassment has consequences if they don’t cut it out.

    Sounds great to me — harassment is harassment, and should be prosecuted as such.

    Doesn’t it cross some kind of line if they’re running up to diners and yelling profanity at them?

    Frankly, I have a hard time believing that there is a roaving band of 11-year-olds that are habitually running up to unsuspecting diners and swearing at them, night after night.

    Well, what *is* the solution?

    A community problem (if this is actually some ongoing problem — I’ve never witnessed any swearing-at-diners-by-children in all of my years on the mall) deserves a community response. I don’t know about you, but if some kid came up to me and started cursing a blue streak, I’d ask him to stop. I submit that if a sufficient number of people said “knock it off, or I’ll tell your mother,” they’d do so.

    What I do see plenty of is small groups of kids — always pre-teens to early-teens, and always black — attempting to converse while walking down the mall, although often with distances of a block or more between them. Rather than getting closer to one another, they will shout whatever they have to say, even if it is laced with obscenities, or containing semi-private information.

    This is the same sort of behavior that I’ve witnessed among professionals walking down the mall, cellphone in hand, broadcasting their conversation to complete strangers. Last year, I overheard a woman say on her phone, while strutting down the mall, “Honey, he ain’t laid it down in so long, I don’t even remember what it looks like anymore.” I probably should have told her mother on her, now that I think about it.

  6. The supreme court has held that an individual can say anything he wants in public. You can wear a shirt that says "***** you" and you can say the same thing in a public place.

    You’re right, harassment is illegal. Assault is actually yelling at someone. Battery is hitting them. Usually people shorten it to assault, but thats a misnomer.

    I didnt realize that there are kids running around the mall with nothing better to do that verbally assalt people while walking quickly. Maybe I just dont get out enough.

    Cops are not the answer. We already have a POLICE station downtown and plenty of coverage. What we dont have is enough people to respond and get up in these punk kids faces and see if they can take what they can dish out. You cant be a prey animal! Whats wrong with you? Sadly, you arent allowed to break his arm, but you can get up in his face and scream at him like an umpire!

    Problem solved.

  7. Probably not the same kids, but a big group of black children about 8-10yo used to terrorize downtown business employees buy mobbing their store, or throwing papers at their doors. I knew a guy who worked downtown who was so fed up with those kids his normal overly friendly sheepish demeanor turned into a violent rage with the veins bulging in the neck and everything.

    He was shouting obsenities about "those damn kids" and RUNNING down the mall chasing them. I know that this poor man passed away in recent years, and I think that his aorta just burst from sheer overexertion in his rage against those damn kids(tm). Stress will get ya in the ticker! I just know he was very young, and it was his heart that went out. Coincidence? I think not.

    So you see they have already claimed a victim! They may not be around anymore, but I can see a similar circumstance repeating itself. I just havent seen it myself recently. What we need is a pack of mothers of equal or greater force on the loose :)

  8. I don’t see a problem. At least they’re on the mall instead of in the alleys on drugs. The downtown mall is not supposed to be a calm, controlled shopping center where buying stuff is the only activity taking place. This guy needs to get used to the occasional delinquent and count his blessings. Why the police needs to respond to his complaint just because he’s an old man who used to wield power in city gov’t is beyond me.

  9. Frankly, I have a hard time believing that there is a roaving band of 11-year-olds that are habitually running up to unsuspecting diners and swearing at them, night after night.

    I wouldn’t know one way or the other. I don’t usually dine on the downtown mall. However I did have a single instance of two kids walking by myself and my wife on the downtown mall, turning around about 20 feet past us, yelling the “f word” at us, then turning around and running off. This was about 3 weeks ago.

    That’s the only time such a thing has happened to us on the downtown mall, but it makes the assertion that this is a problem more believable to me.

    What I do see plenty of is small groups of kids — always pre-teens to early-teens, and always black — attempting to converse while walking down the mall, although often with distances of a block or more between them. Rather than getting closer to one another, they will shout whatever they have to say, even if it is laced with obscenities, or containing semi-private information.

    I don’t usually have much of a problem with this. If a group is hanging out and doing this, and I’ve got my kids with me, I’ll usually ask them politely if they’d mind not cussing until my kids weren’t around. I’d say 95% of the time they say “Oh, sorry” and stop cussing until we leave. The other 5% of the time they usually gripe or spout off that they can say anything they like, but subside until we’re gone anyways. I don’t think anyone has ever ignored us or cussed just to show us they still could after I’ve asked them politely. Just my experience.

  10. Well, think about this: the WINA story said the cops will increase their presence on the mall. Maybe the thinking is that if there are more cops walking around the mall, kids (and anyone else) will think twice about screaming curse words at the top of their lungs (if that’s indeed what is happening). Maybe the cops don’t intend to arrest anyone–their very visibility might act as a damper on cussin’.

    I think that might not be a bad thing. Cops are our friends. I don’t mind seeing more of them on the mall, not only to possibly deter outlaw cussing by their very presence but also to deter other, worse things.

  11. maybe these kids’ parents should be thrown in the clink for letting their little bastards out of the house to aimlessly roam the streets at night harrassing us decent folk. i say throw the scofflaws and ne’erdowells in the hole for a couple of days. or at least fine them out the wazoo for being assclowns. either way, if one of these little buttnutts starts screaming at me, and i’m within reach, i’m gonna break my foot off in his ass.

  12. While I think much of your comment was facitious, you actually have a good point–where are the mothers AND fathers for that matter? When I’m on the mall, sometimes around 8pm and later, I see kids unchaperoned. Where are they’re parents. Perhaps more policing isn’t the answer. I would suggest more late night community programs–youth basketball, dances, and other activities–should be set up to occupy their time in a semi-constructive manner. Get ’em off the streets…. …I sound like a tsk-tsking schoolmarm. Police Chief Longo said he came into his job with these ideas in mind. What happened to executing them?

  13. This is a grave societal problem because what is being mentioned is only the tip of the iceberg and the symptomes to much deeper issues. People in general today just don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves. The kids skateboard into pedestrians, they cuss and give bad looks to everyone not in their clique. Their parents throw trash right out of their hulking SUVs while floating all over the road discussing sexual problems on their cell phone with toddlers in the backseat. The in-betweens are drag-racing on a secondary highway at 1 AM 300 feet away from family residences.

    There’s no such thing as respect for your fellow neighbor anymore; everything in this society is geared towards self-gratification. A sure sign of decadence is when the following generation has less ethical qualities than the previous.

    Of course, I may be wrong.

    P.S. It’s like on another thread, someone was dissing tree-huggers. At least, they stand for something that’s not civilopathic.

  14. Hey Sympatico, do you open a f*ucking dictionary or thesaurus everytime you post comments on this site? Your "big" words get annoying after awhile and I seriously doubt you impress anyone.

  15. Whoah, man, cool it! What’s up your ass? He didn’t even use particularly big words, though even if he did that still wouldn’t be reason to be a dick about it. You’re definitely not impressing anyone yourself, acting like that.

  16. Actually I’d rathar see these kids on a healthy crack habit. They’d be out of our hair! This is what kids do when they dont have something they’re passionate about, like scoring that next rock. These kids need a motivational speaker. When was the last time you ate quazi gourmet cuisine on an outdoor cafe adjacent to a crack house or alley? SEE! And the kids learn skills that really matter in life, like not burning your fingers and how to run from the cops.

    Once again, problem solved.

  17. Seriously, it’s probably best for everyone that you don’t get stinking drunk before logging onto CVILLENEWS. Take a breather…

  18. "Seriously, it’s probably best… everyone… get stinking drunk before logging onto CVILLENEWS…"

    AH HA!!! We’re on to you now! You wont get away with this!

  19. whew, I was just reviewing my comments above! Man, the things you do when your drunk…. Sorry for the insults folks!

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