Two More Assaults on West Main

WINA reports this morning that two more assaults have taken place in the downtown area, this time on the 400 and 800 blocks of West Main Street. Both took place around 3 AM, and both attacks involved a group of 4-6 young, black white t-shirt-wearing males attacking a couple, not inflicting serious injury and not for the purpose of robbery. Joy assaults, basically. These sound precisely like the random assaults that have been taking place for the past few weeks, though took place many blocks away from the downtown area where business owners want cameras, ostensibly to stop the crimes.

78 Responses to “Two More Assaults on West Main”


  • I hope the police will check with store owners along West Main to see if any of them have security cameras that might have picked up an image of these kids. Other than that, I can’t imagine that there’d be a whole lot of witnesses at 3 AM.

  • I wonder why anyone is roaming around at 3:00 a.m. in the first place given all the problems that have been going on downtown lately. Seems to me you are just inviting trouble. If I had to be downtown at that time, I would call and ask the police for assistance to get where I needed to be.

    Still, there are jobs (doctors – nurses come to mind) that have weird hours and the assumption is that you ought to be safe when you go anywhere in Charlottesville at any time of the day or night. Camera and lots of lights sound like the answer to me.

    To think, Charlottesville used to be #1…but with all this random violence, problems with the Charlottesville City schools and the treatment of minorities in general (in reference to getting low income housing)…it’s getting to the point that one wonders why anyone would want to live here.

  • You do have a point about roaming around at 3am-but then again it could be some out-of-towner that does not know what is going on. And attacks have occurred earlier in the evening too. Do hope they catch them before all the vulnerable,naive UVa first-years arrive.
    That was a good post until it was ruined by the typical liberal reaction of blaming it on racism, lack of low-income housing,etc,
    THESE PEOPLE ARE VIOLENT THUGS AND CRIMINALS!! Lots of people of all races are poor, do not earn a lot of money, but they do not engage in violent crime. We have been fed this line for far too long,that its somehow society’s fault and we should feel sorry for the hoodlums. Like all the publicity and endless acronyms for efforts aimed at the bums and lowlifes that hang out around the Downtown Library and in Lee Park. Why not some compassion for the hardworking people who hold down two or three jobs to make ends meet, pay their bills, obey the law, and try to raise their children right?
    Until we get rid of the bleedingheart kneejerk liberal mentality that sets the tone for our city government, and the present cadre of Democratic Party hacks that run the government, things aren’t going to get any better. And the taxpayers will continue to be bled.

  • If they are all school age then perhaps these incidents support the argument in favor of a 12 month school year (with more frequent but shorter school breaks in between- and staggered so no more than any two or three schools have the same breaks excepting of course national holidays). Especially since the parents of these criminals can’t seem to do their job right when their kids have too much free time. I know more government shouldn’t be the answer, but since we can’t get people to make responsible decisions about reproduction, and Cville seems to be inclined toward the “more government” solutions anyway. It’s something else to consider. As it is we pay teachers for 12 months of work anyway. :)

    Or if they’re minors, perhaps we should start holding their parents responsible for the criminal actions of their children. That might actually be easier than getting teachers to agree to work 12 months a year.

  • “Ostensibly to stop the crimes?”

    I can see both sides of this issue, but you seem to be indicating some sort of hidden agenda here that I’m not buying.

  • Sorry for the thread jack, but…

    As it is we pay teachers for 12 months of work anyway.

    How do you figure?

  • These assaults occur at night by a visible group (6 or more young men dressed in white Ts) in a relatively small area of downtown. Do we seriously not have the police force available to monitor this area during this time period?

    I for once am not trying to be flip. This does not seem like a big task, but I could be totally wrong. How many officers would it take? How many are usually on staff? How much crime occurs outside of this area right now that the relocation of on-duty officers would cause major heartache?

    I am seriously curious about what others have to say about this.

  • Teach opined: >>>>wonder why anyone is roaming around at 3:00 a.m. in the first place given all the problems that have been going on downtown lately. Seems to me you are just inviting trouble. If I had to be downtown at that time, I would call and ask the police for assistance to get where I needed to be.

  • People might not be “wandering around”, but heading to their cars after work. I imagine that the bars near both attacks (West Main, Maya, Zinc, Continental Divide) close at 2 AM and that the staff has to clean up and do whatever gets done with their cash registers, which might take an hour or so.

    Knowing that restaurant/bar staff is getting out, I think it’d be smart for the police might hang out in that area. When I was in grad school, I worked at a store that took longer than any other to close at night (refolding an entire Banana Republic takes hours!). The security guards knew we left around midnight and always escorted us to the parking deck. Obviously, security guards are different from police, but with a growing number of bars on West Main Street, it seems like a no-brainer to be in the area.

  • I would imagine that many people were leaving the Artini which went quite late @ the Ix building. There were many volunteers who probably help clean up the place.

    I wonder why the police don’t use decoys to try and ferret out his group. A couple of arrest what help nip this in the bud.

  • I actually really like Chief Longo’s comment to the Progress:

    “If last night at 2:30 or three in the morning your child wasn’t home, maybe you want to contact the police so we can have a talk,” said Chief Tim Longo.

    Obviously, I have no idea whether any parents intend to follow through with this. But you’ve got to give the man credit for making a simple suggestion that could solve a serious problem.

  • waldo, i recollect you being opposed to curfews in the past. of course you were younger then. what’s up now? is merely being out late cause for suspicion? i spent many a late night out myself when i was a kid. i still do. never beat anyone up though. fortunately, i’ve never been beat up either.

  • SO. Now what are they going to do? Put up cameras on W. Main too? Obviously with Longo’s big public announcement about increased police presense around the mall, the juvenile criminals have moved up the road a bit.
    Why is it so difficult to round up kids, in big white shirts, roving around our streets?

    And Longo falling back again on calling up mommy. Obviously mommy couldn’t care less where their kid is.
    Seems like the Mayberry Police Department and Andy and Bsrney just can’t get the job done.

  • Curfews and cameras aren’t the answer. Perhaps if C’ville had more people with a concealed weapons permit and the firepower to match this problem would come to a quick end. I’d like to see how tough these thugs are looking down the barrel of a .45.

  • Well Bob I’m not sure vigilante justice is the way to go however you do have a point. If the cops can’t get the job done……..but I’m still not cool with shooting 16 year olds in the street.
    I have no solution. The only thing I do know is Longo needs to step it up. Maybe Albemarle Co. cops should be asked to help out since C’Ville PD can’t do anything but put up cameras and have a task force. And perhaps cops need to be moved off day shift and put on graveyard shift. Some creative scheduling?

  • Apparently 2 more assaults last night as well, on Water St near the bus station/C&O.

  • So 4 in all?
    wow.

  • I recollect you being opposed to curfews in the past. of course you were younger then. what’s up now? is merely being out late cause for suspicion?

    It’s always struck me as entirely reasonable that being out late is cause for suspicion, along a sliding scale of age and lateness, for reasons of social welfare. A four year old on her own at any hour is trouble. A thirteen year old on his own at midnight (assuming it’s not, say, New Year’s Eve) is quite likely ungood. A group of fifteen year olds wandering about at 3am should be looked into. These are all problems that social services is accustomed to dealing with.

    This is where the role of policeman as force for community relations, as opposed to law enforcement, is so important. There simply no need to charge a kid with a crime for being out late. Fact is, it reflects worse on the parents than it does on the kids. If an officer spots a half dozen young teenagers out at 3am, that seems like an excellent reason for him to escort them home and have a chat with their parents to figure out what’s going on. Maybe a kid isn’t home because his alcoholic father is in a rampage, and the safest place for him at that moment is West Main. Or maybe he and his friends are going out to knock around some strangers. Our police can make that call without a law requiring them to arrest both the would-be attackers and the kid who doesn’t want his nose bloodied by his old man.

    I hope that answers your question.

  • eh, the police are going to wait till someone gets seriously injury IE shot at. What can you do? Police are under staff. People are buying up over priced real estate. People want to be safe yet this town can’t attract anyone because the salary the city is offering, you can’t live here. And the moment if we do arrest any kids wearing a white tee, you are going to have people screaming racial profiling.

    I say spend more money on the art on the side of the highway.

  • Despite the fact that I’ve asked him not to, my boyfriend walked home from his restaurant job. Near Lee Park, he saw someone trying to break into a car (the second car break in he’s seen near the park this month). He called 911 to report it and started walking back towards the mall to stay away from the park.

    While on the phone with the dispatcher, he then saw a group of kids walking towards him from Water Street, with the mall between them. He told the dispatcher about that and she stayed on the phone with him as he hurried away. When he told me the story this morning, I asked what the kids were wearing and he said some were in big, white t-shirts, but some were in red.

    Needless to say, he finally agrees that talking home after the restaurant closes is out of the question. Oh, and he never saw any police officers respond, though he got out of the area quickly.

    After reading Cod’s comment that there were two more assaults last night around Water Street, I’m shocked.

  • I should maybe back away from that—I was told that last night at the C&O by someone I trust, but since I haven’t seen it reported that may not be the case.

  • Its easy to fault the police. Its a big city, with a force that maybe should be bigger. They cant be on every street at every time of the day. This group of kids can easily appear and disappear in certain areas. I just suggest people be very aware of thier surroundings and mindfull of where they are.

    I would also encourage anyone who has experienced a crime like this or knows of someone who has, come forward to give the police any bit of information that might help them find a suspect.

  • just waking up again waldo and thinking about taking a stroll. i like walking at night, the air is cool and the moon has a certain something when it dark outside that it just doesn’t say…. around noon. i quite honestly don’t see how taking a stroll, enjoying the night, maybe a cigarette too is “cause for suspicion.” suspicion of what exactly?

    if we had no curfew, if no crime were being committed and someone weren’t interested in being “escorted” by the police, just what cause would an officer have to attempt to do that? would wearing a white shirt be a reason to be swept off the streets? fashion police… really!!

    how would waking up someone who him/herself hadn’t done anything wrong to tell them that their children hadn’t done anything wrong (other than have a new clean shirt on) do anything for community relations?

    i’m just a little curious about why you would seem to advocate the use of a policing tool that you were once so opposed to. if the police can hassle black kids dressed in white, why not all those white kids dressed in black?

  • “Apparently 2 more assaults last night as well, on Water St near the bus station/C&O…
    I should maybe back away from that—I was told that last night at the C&O by someone I trust, but since I haven’t seen it reported that may not be the case.” – cod

    If you have to choose between believing a trusted friend who tells you something in person and believing a reporter or policeman you’ve never met, believe your friend. Question authority.

  • I think we should all start wearing long white t-shirts and baggy, denim shorts. That way they’ll have a harder time choosing who to attack. Yeah, that’s how we solve this! We confuse the hell out of them!

  • I realize I wasn’t clear in my comment. The story about my boyfriend is from Saturday night.

    Nightowl, the example given was about a pack of kids wandering around downtown at 3 AM, not a random person taking a walk.

  • These assaults occur at night by a visible group (6 or more young men dressed in white Ts) in a relatively small area of downtown. Do we seriously not have the police force available to monitor this area during this time period?

    My sentiments exactly. I mean, Jesus. Gangs of 6 or so little hoodlums (most likely the same gang that is committing these assults), basically wearing “uniforms,” basically within the same 2-mile radius, regularly assulting people at hours when there is barely any other public human activity. Seriously, how hard can these guys be to spot?

  • I would imagine that a vast majority of these kids come from broken families with no strong father figure in their lives making them tow the line. I think at some point, they will attack the wrong person, who may be packing a legally concealed weapon. That will change the program. There are so many people just getting pregnant for the hell of it. A majority know it wlll never work out and then they get support from the government for there bad choices. What ends up putting people in the electric chair, could have been avoided by being reared well in the high chair…JC

  • JC, I don’t understand your thought process. If that pack encounters someone with a gun, part of me thinks they’ll acquire guns as well. They already seem to fancy themselves a gang.

  • if we had no curfew, if no crime were being committed and someone weren’t interested in being “escorted” by the police, just what cause would an officer have to attempt to do that?

    It only makes sense within the framework of social services, to the extent to which we are interested in the public welfare. No reasonable person could disagree with the assertion that a four year old out on her own at 3am should result in immediate police intervention. That child should be picked up, put to bed, and her parents tracked down. I likewise suspect that many of us agree that a 17-year-old has every right to be out late at night (assuming his parents have no prohibited it, but that’s not of the police’s concern). Somewhere between that four year old and that 17 year old there’s a big, fat, blurry line, and that’s the area in which the social welfare of children is of concern to police in that it’s of concern to social services.

    Curfews = dumb. Common sense policing = good.

  • Anyone with a right to be out at 3 AM also has the responsibility to conduct themselves in a lawful manner – and if guilty of a crime to be sentenced as an adult and serve time as an adult. This juvenile protection statute is long overdue for an overhaul.

  • I guess you’re in favor of prison reform then.

  • Jeannie,

    They probably already have guns, and if they don’t, they will probably be shot dead by the guy that does. I mean if some psycho killer comes into your home to attack everyone, don’t you think having a gun might help? You can’t teach peace…JC

  • You can’t teach peace

    That’s simultaneously wrong and meaningless.

    Jesus: A big ol’ failure?

  • from city code sect. 17-7 “minor refers to any person under seventeen (17) years of age…” reading further: “it shall be unlawful for a minor, during curfew hours, to remain in or upon any public place within the city…”

    i guess you’re right waldo, we would all agree that “a 17-year-old has every right to be out late at night,” since the curfew only applies to those under 17.

    public welfare is frequently the reason for excusing the imposition of martial law, curfews, or other sorts of abuse of police powers. i would say that “common sense policing’ might allow for a reduction in use of police powers, but never an extension. if someone is jaywalking or going 1 mph over the limit, an officer can choose not to do anything. if the law is being obeyed, it is not and should not be within the scope of an officer’s authority to “escort” someone to someplace they didn’t ask to be escorted to or to interfere in any way with otherwise lawful behavior.

    why not just escort home anyone who is out late at night? we have already establish that is reasonable grounds for suspicion haven’t we?

    van- my understanding of things is that anyone who is out at any time of day has the responsibility to conduct themselves in a lawful manner. at what time of the day would you suggest that juveniles should start being subjected to adult penalties for breaking the law? at what age?

    jeannine- how many makes a “pack” and what about kids that don’t have any intention of breaking the law (other than i guess the curfew) who don’t feel safe going out alone? i doubt if you as a woman go for walks in the dark alone. wouldn’t it make sense for kids to feel like they would be better off if they had some friends along too? is that evidence of criminal intent?

  • i guess you’re right waldo, we would all agree that “a 17-year-old has every right to be out late at night,” since the curfew only applies to those under 17.

    Of course, you well know that the law does not reflect what we all agree on, so that’s just silliness.

    if the law is being obeyed, it is not and should not be within the scope of an officer’s authority to “escort” someone to someplace they didn’t ask to be escorted to or to interfere in any way with otherwise lawful behavior.

    So a four-year-old girl alone, downtown, at 3am — you believe that “it is not and should not be within the scope of an officer’s authority” to intervene?

    I just want to make sure we’re on the same page here.

  • I made it #1 you made it 17th

    I read these posts and never say anything on here as I do not want my name out there, I know too many people.
    These are hate crimes I assure you.
    As we gentrify the city you will see resentment grow, it always does.
    You cannot build a “Warehouse District” and not build a community center.
    I suggested to people along time ago and City Council members included that you needed to pay more attention to infilling. So this is what you will see more of now.
    I also feel the cops need to get out of their cars and walk the streets in pairs, that is the only way you can do good policing. We see this working in major cities like Boston, New York etc.

  • Hollowboy,

    What exactly are you saying is the relationship between a pair of assaults on West Main and the fact that our city’s constituency and leadership is generally liberal? We have police officers out there working to enforce the law.

    What do you think would happen if the entire Council were suddenly replaced with conservative Republicans? How will that lead to cops magically being able to stop more crimes? You think a GOP Council would raise taxes and hire more cops?

    If you want to point a finger, I could see looking at our prosecution team. But the local Commonwealth’s Attorney is elected seperately from Council and is under no control by them.

    Your partisan accusations make no sense.

  • Waldo,

    Go to Iraq/Isreal or most Middle Eastern Countries and gather a group of terrorists and sit them in a classroom and teach them how to be peaceful. How about the President of Iran? You think he is open to talking peace? It really depends on who you are trying to “Teach Peace” to. Violence always has and always will be a part of life. Not accepting and believing this is the case is like sticking one’s head in the sand….JC

    P.S. Tell me the last time in history that there hasn’t been a war somewhere in the world and remember that world domination by terrorist driven countries does mean a lot to them……

  • So you’re saying that this group of anonymous kids are a) equivalent to Middle Eastern terrorists b) completely beyond the reach of teaching, democracy, and Christianity?

  • Nightowl: at what time of the day would you suggest that juveniles should start being subjected to adult penalties for breaking the law? at what age?

    When: At the time they are given the priveleges given a responsible adult.

    That is why I said “overhaul tyhe juvenile statute. If the yoiungsters can`t properly accept the priveleges thay have been given,then curtail their activities. Failing that,punish as an adult inasmuch as they have adult priveleges. Can`t have it both ways.

  • Jack to Hollowboy: Your partisan accusations make no sense.

    I agree. About as much sense as a small town councilperson dragging in his dislike of the President during a discusion on security cameras.

  • I think we should probably CATCH the juveniles before we decide on their punishment.
    Longo went off on 29’s website during a story about the most recent assaults. Basically saying it’s up to US to tell the cops who these kids are and where they are. He said he’s POSITIVE someone knows something but no one is talking. so he’s pissed off I guess.
    So it’s OUR job now? He doesn’t have detectives who can actually investigate?
    Good grief.

  • You can teach peace. One way to do it is to put faith in those whose job it is to catch these kids, and move about your daily life. Stop feeding the media frenzy that is encouraging these kids (getting on the news must be some trophy!), avoid dangerous areas, and take care of yourself. Try not to stereotype all the black teens downtown, but don’t ignore your gut if you come across a shady situation. It’s not an us v. them. It’s a string of crimes that are encouraged by the results of all those preceding it. So, don’t become a victim and don’t feed the anger.

  • max sed:
    I think we should all start wearing long white t-shirts and baggy, denim shorts. That way they’ll have a harder time choosing who to attack. Yeah, that’s how we solve this! We confuse the hell out of them!

    I am with you, dude, but I think we need to go further to solve this problem: we all need to just start randomly sucker punching each other whenever we are out in public. If enough people do it, it will no longer be the “cool” thing to do for the youngsters.

  • Longo went off on 29’s website during a story about the most recent assaults. Basically saying it’s up to US to tell the cops who these kids are and where they are. He said he’s POSITIVE someone knows something but no one is talking. so he’s pissed off I guess.
    So it’s OUR job now?

    I can certainly sympathize with him. There must be dozens of people who know of at least one person who has participated in this, but they’re apparently not saying a thing. This, again, would seem to point to the importance of more emphasis on community policing.

    Rappers pushing this “don’t snitch” mantra probably aren’t helping. That’s one of the most harmful memes to be pushed in pop culture recently.

  • Waldo said:
    I can certainly sympathize with him. There must be dozens of people who know of at least one person who has participated in this, but they’re apparently not saying a thing. This, again, would seem to point to the importance of more emphasis on community policing.

    More emphasis on community policing is good. Due to the lack of that, actual policing would most certainly be welcome right about now.

    Waldo also said:
    Rappers pushing this “don’t snitch” mantra probably aren’t helping. That’s one of the most harmful memes to be pushed in pop culture recently.

    I agree. Ever since that Rapper’s Delight song came out with the “hip hop a hibba to the hibba-dee” the world has been going to hell.

    Damn, Waldo. You sound like an old curmudgeon.

  • Damn, Waldo. You sound like an old curmudgeon.

    Get off my law, you damned kids!

    *shakes fist*

  • 1. “So it’s OUR job, now?” Um…yes. What do you think detectives investigate? This ain’t CSI. They’re gonna find things out by asking people. This is what detectives do. It’s up to us to talk.

    2. “Snitches get stitches” is as old as hell, and pre-dates hip-hop culture.

    3. Think for 2 moments about the square mileage of the area where these crimes have happened. You can’t post a cop on all 50 square blocks every night from now till eternity, unless you’re willing to pay for it, and you ain’t.

    4. The biggest and baddest crimes are committed by rich white guys in khakis and polos. We need to start following *these* motherfuckers around in the squad car late at night. “Excuse me, sir. Hands behind your head sir…NOW…where’d you get these diamonds, sir? Were these mined in Sierra Leone? What about those boat shoes? If I scrape them for DNA, will I find evidence of a Vietnamese child laborer?”

  • waldo, i’m going to have to put on a virtual white shirt and join bilco in beating you up with the curmudgeon stick.

    … if you wanna live a nice quiet life
    Do yourself a favor, don’t come out at night, ’cause

    The freaks come out at night
    The freaks come out at night
    The freaks come out at night
    (the freaks come out)
    The freaks come out at night ……

    now there a meme i’ll be glad to scream!

    on a more serious note…

    it is a matter of fact not opinion that a 17 year old has the right to walk around at night as long as he or she is not otherwise violating the law. opinions about what the law should allow certainly might differ though.

    i guess it was my incomplete understanding of your opinion on the matter of what the law should allow that made me respond to your previous comment about chief long’s statements.

    the “four-year-old girl alone, downtown, at 3am” ploy is itself a little silly if you ask me. i certainly don’t think having infants and toddlers left alone at night is a good idea. the real problem is determining exactly who, under what circumstances, should be prohibited from being out at night.

    charlottesville has a curfew law. since fuzziness in the law can be a bit problematic, someone decided to say that 16 is too young to be out late without a parent’s direct (or proxy) supervision. when you were younger, you were opposed to that curfew. were you saying all along that the law just needed to make 16 the cut-off? 15? or is it that, since you and your friends are now boring cranky old people who aren’t affected by curfews, you’ve switched sides?

  • I stand by my comment that its the “They’re all victimss of society” liberal dogma that is part of the problem, that has contributed to the mentality that “the world owes me a living” rationalization for lawlessness.
    The fact is that it was a Republican mayor Rudolph Giuliani who actually was able to bring about a steep decline in crime in New York City, Something no one, including me, would have believed possible. And part of it was brought about by paying attention to “broken window” issues, things like graffitti, panhandling,public drunkenness,loitering and the like..
    I believe the police are capable of catching this gang. But what happens then? Will they get off with a slap on the wrist like the CHS attackers a few years ago? And are there other hoodlums-in-training just waiting in the wings?
    Maybe it is time for a new approach, something other than the failed warm and fuzzy welfare state ideology that has prevailed in the city for the past two decades and a half.

  • Rudy then rounded up all the homeless and bussed them to Jersey.

    Why are they all in white tee shirts? Because by the time a call is taken by dispatch saying 5 black kids in white tee shirts comes in and the police respond they see about 50 people that fit the exact description. It is pretty clever on the kid’s side but they are just evil for doing what they are doing?

    Is it gang related? Yes, According to the rules set forth by the state gang task force, anytime you have 3 or more individuals acting in concert to commit a crime and they are either dressed in the same fashion or they have identifying tattoos it is gang related. So, any cop that says it is not gang related is either lying or not reading his email.

    Where are the parents of these kids? In jail or prison mostly and those who are on the street are either (best case) working night jobs or (worst case) partying all night and do not really know or care where the kids are. I have seen many parents simply give up when their kids are about 12 saying that they don’t listen so why try. Unfortunately, it is seen as inevitable by a lot parents that their kids will get in trouble and wind up just like their father, in jail. Sorry to be so honest here but it is true and if you want to use the truth to call me names, feel free but it still will not change the truth.

    What can we do? Cameras will make people feel safe on the mall, but that is all it will do, it is style over substance. It will not impact crime but it will allow the family’s in Forest Lakes to continue to eat dinner at Christians. Community policing is nice but right now there is such a distrust between the black community and the Charlottesville PD that it will take at least a generation to fix the problem. Remember the Gutter Punks that used to hang out just in front of the Movie Theatre on the Mall, where did they go? Why are they not there anymore? Simple, it is because the PD stationed two uniformed officers in the exact place where they squatted, it was not before long that they moved on. So, each time there is a group of 5 gang members (dressed the same) walking down the street, get out of your patrol care and engage them by saying hello, talk, get to know them. If they continue to commit crimes at least we will now know who they are.

  • “Snitches get stitches” is as old as hell, and pre-dates hip-hop culture.

    Indeed, but at the moment, it’s undergoing an enormous resurgence, thanks to pop rappers. And I draw a line between what’s being spouted by top 40 rappers and hip-hop culture. Hip-hop culture is smarter than those dopes.

    It is a matter of fact not opinion that a 17 year old has the right to walk around at night as long as he or she is not otherwise violating the law.

    You have yet again failed to answer the question. In a discussion about what should or should not be legal, responding by pointing out what the law is an utterly useless response.

    One more time here: Do you agree that a) A four year old child wandering around alone in the middle of the night should warrant immediate police action, without any need for curfew laws? b) A seventeen year old likewise outside late at night probably does not warrant police action, and should be free from questioning? c) That there was a range of ages and seriousness of responses in the gradient between those two ages and circumstances, and intelligent minds may disagree as to what age warrants which response?

    when you were younger, you were opposed to that curfew. were you saying all along that the law just needed to make 16 the cut-off? 15? or is it that, since you and your friends are now boring cranky old people who aren’t affected by curfews, you’ve switched sides?

    It’s almost as if you’re not at all familiar with the case. Read it. Nothing that I have said here is in any way incompatible with my belief that curfews are unconstitutional.

  • The fact is that it was a Republican mayor Rudolph Giuliani who actually was able to bring about a steep decline in crime in New York City, Something no one, including me, would have believed possible.

    Actually, there’s now good reason to think that he had nothing to do with it — it was simply a drop-off in lead poisoning.

  • Holy cow, that lead poisoning article is brain-explodingly fascinating. Waldo, do you know of any articles about Charlottesville lead levels?

  • Not a thing, I’m afraid. I’m with you on that lead poisoning article. I’m not intellectually equipped to know whether the research presented is particularly credible, but the thesis really is fascinating.

  • I wish there was a way to edit these comments because I forgot to put the other thing I wanted to say in my last comment. Which was…don’t get all up-in-arms at these imagined neglectful parents. Once you’re a teenager, you know how to sneak around even the most attentive parent. Whether you’re a STAB white girl telling your mom that you’re spending the night with Ashley, when you’re really going out with a boy. Or you’re a CHS headknocker who creeps out once your dad is asleep, making sure you leave the window open so it doesn’t squeak when you come back in at 4:30, half an hour before dad’s alarm goes off.

    If you want to do dirt, after 13 years of living with someone you know how to trick them. It’s not like these boys are out every single night on a rampage. They come out randomly once every few weeks.

    Raise your hand if you’re a parent and your child has never lied to you.

  • Miss LaGrape raises an interesting point about teenagers and how much control a parent can really have. Certainly a teenager can out smart and maneuver their parents when they want to. But I also think that over time, if those activities happen often enough, the parent catches on. I mean, you can’t fool your mom for that long. A dad though, that’s easy. Oops, I think I was just sexists then. Sorry dads of the world. Anyway, at some point if this is frequent, a parent kind of knows, and is either neglectful and doesn’t bother or just ill equipped to deal with it.

    This is also an age related issue. If the kid is 16 or older, my theory is that the parents have kind of instilled all the morals and values they’re going too, and there isn’t that much they can do. Before that though the parents better be paying attention. OK, enough blathering on that.

    Nice article on the lead poisoning. Between that sort of thing and diet, all of these things may be more chemically related than we’d like to think. Of course those are easier things to correct though. Changing behavior is tough.

    Now to the teens, can the police please just hang around in plain clothes and catch them. Shouldn’t take more than a night or two. And then open up a can of whoop-ass on them. Oops, did I say that.

  • Curfews are an ignorant/naïve band-aid that simply violates freedom. What makes people think that a criminal willing to violently attack someone cares that they are violating a curfew? The fact is that there will always be violent people in the world around you. Police can enhance public safety, but cannot be everywhere at all times. If you want to be safe, protect yourself. I will walk where I want, when I want. If threatened by a gang of teens, who combined pose a serious threat to myself and/or those with me, I will defend my self with lethal force. I find it hard to believe that anyone would put them self in a dangerous situation without the means to protect them self. Be proactive, not a victim.

    Or, we could just pass more laws to further restrict a person’s ability to defend them self, that way the criminals will be less hesitant about attacking.

  • Regarding curfews, anyone in law enforcement knows that when it comes to teen crime, most of it happens between 3 and 6 pm. Are you going to set the curfew for 4oclock?

  • Common Sense, I’m wondering what laws Virginia has on the books currently that restrict a person’s ability to defend themselves.

    Is it the law limiting a person to purchasing only one handgun per month? How does that seriously restrict my ability to defend myself?

    Is it the state-based criminal background check that prevents criminals and the insane from buying guns but only if they’re buying them from a federally-licensed gun store, not at a gun show? How does that restrict my ability to defend myself?

    Is it the law that makes a gun-owner responsible for leaving a gun accessible to kids under 14? Is this one of the ones that restricts my ability to defend myself?

    Is it the law that only partially prevents juveniles under 18 from possessing handguns and assault firearms, excepting the ones who have parental authorization or who are hunting? Does that restrict my ability to defend myself?

    Is it the law that allows police to keep records for up to 12 months of every handgun sold in the state by licensed gun dealers? Is it this one?

    It must be the law that prohibits carrying a concealed handgun into a school–is that the one?

    Wow–in light of those Draconian restrictions on my ability to defend myself, thank goodness I as a Virginia am NOT restricted by any 1. pesky limitations on the purchase or possession of assault weapons/magazines; 2. irritating limits on carrying concealed handguns; 4. invasive requirement that guns sold in Virginia have child-safety locks; 5. irksome background checks at gun shows; 6. irritating requirement that I be licensed or trained in gun safety before purchasing a handgun; 7. bothersome requirement that the state keep records of sales of rifles, shotguns, or of private sales of handguns by individuals; 8. vexing requirement that I register my handgun; 9. troublesome requirement that handguns meet basic safety standards; 10. patronizing requirement that I have any safety training or demonstrate any knowledge of our gun laws or how to safely handle/store guns; 11. tiresome waiting period on gun sales.

    I mean, honestly–it’s swell that you have a gun and carry it around with you all the time and you’re at all times ready to kill someone who you deem seriously threatening. I’m having a hard time picturing you as having been “restricted,” though, in your pursuit of this dream.

  • Cecil(2), know your laws before you speak. There is no law to register a handgun. There is no law that requires a person to take a gun safety class before purchasing a handgun or any gun for that matter.

    I do not have a problem with the vast majority of actual laws, including the ones you quoted. I think they are great. In Virginia we do not have most of the ignorant, unjust laws that exist in many states. My biggest objection in Virginia is that even after taking a safety class and passing the background check (both required for a concealed carry permit), I am not allowed to carry concealed in a business that sells alcohol for consumption, regardless of whether or not I will consume any.

    So, if I want to go to the downtown mall in the evening to have dinner with my wife and child, I basically have to leave my protection in the car and walk back to the parking garage, at night, defenseless. This is a bigger issue when it gets dark by 6:00 PM in the fall/winter. It is a stupid law, as the type of person to go somewhere and get drunk and shoot someone couldn’t care less about violating a concealed carry law. They most likely won’t have a permit in the first place.

    Laws only affect people who abide by them. But, law abiding people are not the ones that commit crimes. The only laws that really work are the ones governing the severity of a sentence given to someone convicted of commiting a crime. Laws that try to prevent someone from having the opportunity to commit crime just limit freedom of people who don’t commit crimes and do nothing to criminals.

  • Common Sense, maybe you should learn how to read: my post SAYS that there is no requirement to register a handgun and no requirement that anyone take a safety class before buying a handgun. That was my point — that you are in fact NOT restricted, in any serious way, from purchasing handguns. Geez, it went right over your head, didn’t it?

  • Hollowboy,

    I think you are projecting a lot of political ideas onto some people on whom it just doesn’t bear out. These are a bunch of stupid kids beating people up for fun. Like, 13-17. There’s nothing to analyze beyond the fact that their parents don’t try to keep them in at night.

    You have still yet to give a single concrete example of how some element of liberal ideology led to these stupid kids beating people up. Just ambiguous talk about a welfare state.

    I’m not 100 years old, but I’m pretty darn sure that 100 years ago, before the ‘Great Society’ or welfare or any other liberal social programs existed, there were bad kids wandering around in the middle of the night and beating people up. Go rent ‘Gangs of New York’ and then tell me if you still think that this type of gang violence is a modern liberal ill. This problem is as old as humankind and has NOTHING to do with any political ideology.

    Stop begging for some radical new government ideology to swoop in and solve all of the world’s problems. Whether a state is run by Communists or Nazis, there will always be stupid teenagers who get together and pick fights with people. Unless you want a police state where big brother is standing on every street corner Baghdad-style, government cannot prevent this type of crime. They can only pursue the guilty after the fact. Only society it’s self, on a church, neighborhood and family scale can discourage this type of crime. Government cannot solve all of your problems. Buy a handgun, learn how to use it and get a concealed weapon permit. That is the only way that you can even come close to guaranteeing your safety, no matter what party controls government.

  • Cecil(2), you are correct. I misread your previous, sarcastic, personal attack post. Therefore you are actually wrong about a different set:
    There ARE limitations on carrying concealed.
    There ARE background checks at gun shows.

    I don’t know why you chose the tone you did, but it was not provoked. The main point of my original post was not centered around my dislike of a few VA state gun laws. I simply added that at the bottom of my post, because I felt that it directly related to a person’s ability to defend themself, which obviously pertains to this discussion. It was childish of you to then go on a peronal attack rant about how I must object to a subset of VA’s gun laws, of which I have no problem with.

  • Jack, Miss LaGrape’s comments are perfectly indicative of how liberal attitudes and policies lead to higher crime. “Whose fault is it? OUR fault!” “The REAL criminals are rich middle-aged white guys!”

    Some liberals apparently sympathize with young black felons to the point of thinking it’s racist to hold them accountable for specific crimes they commit (because it’s all OUR fault!) and try to focus the energies of government on punishing law-abiding and productive citizens for the crime of being in a politically incorrect demographic.

    Put simply, the prospect of poor little thugs being punished by “racist police state” horrifies our urban leadership more than any number of racially-motivated beatings of crackers resulting in severe injuries. And with prioroties thus set, is it any wonder the police response to the attacks is a joke?

    Attacks like these will stop when the perps know that they are very likely to be caught and punished severely. If it were up to me, rather than going to Advanced Felon School, aka our prison system in which the lunatics run the asylum, we’d introduce caning, preferably public, for this sort of offense. It works well enough in Singapore: you almost never hear of this sort of nonsense there, do you?

    The irony is the cretins pulling these attacks are doing more harm to their own peers than to the classes of people from whom their victims come. If anyone really wants to discourage racism and persuade people not to stereotype young black men in white t-shirts, the best way to do that is to isolate and punish the guilty few.

    Oh, and Miss LaGrape: most of the clothes made by child or convict slave labor in places like China and Vietnam end up in places like Wal-Mart and are bought by poor people, and the buyers have no way of knowing which products are tainted. Save your bile for the people (Congress, current and past presidents, and business executives) who have the power to change those arrangements but choose to do nothing.

  • If anyone really thinks these youths will be punished by the system, if we can “only catch them on camera” or if the police would “do their job”. You live in a fantasy world. These thugs are juveniles, here is how it would work if the cops caught them in the act.
    1. The cop would do a bunch of paperwork and call an intake officer. (magistrate for juveniles)
    2. The charge would most likely be Simple Assault, so the intake officer would tell the cop to release the thug back to his 24 year old single welfare queen mom, if the cop can actually locate her.
    3. The thug would go to juvenile court for arraignment, and of course the liberal judge would want a psychological evaluation, which would take months.
    4. Eventually it may go to court or the intake officer, would just get the thugs mother to sign an agreement to take him to some B.S. counseling which they will blow off. Nobody will follow up on it.
    5. Meanwhile, you are still going to the dentist to replace the teeth you had knocked out and you look like a bitch in your wife/girlfriends eyes.
    6. Option number 2, you shoot these thugs and then you lose everything you own defending yourself or in the civil suit brought by the welfare queens NAACP lawyer or you get found guilty of manslaughter, pull six months and now you are convicted felon. You have now lost everything.
    7. Option number 3, stay the hell away from downtown at night, eventually these little animals will start beating on and shooting each other. Eventually if we let them they may stop reproducing with their 13 year old girlfriends due to attrition, in about 100 years.
    This is reality…….

  • If anyone really thinks these youths will be punished by the system, if we can “only catch them on camera” or if the police would “do their job”. You live in a fantasy world.

    One need only look at last time this happened — teenagers randomly assaulting people in January 2002. Their sentenced ranged from a month in jail to paying restitution to victims, community service to six months’ house arrest, a year’s probation to two months in a detention center.

    The fantasy world appears to be yours, even with such poetic touches as “looking like a bitch” and “the liberal judge.”

  • In addition to being arrested and going to court, counseling for those kids is warranted and is effective, when the families buy-in. It is always offered, by law. The fact that counseling or psychiatric is often turned down is not the fault of the “liberal” providers.

  • Common Sense tells me

    “There ARE limitations on carrying concealed.
    There ARE background checks at gun shows.”

    The state limitations on carrying concealed weapons, as I understand them, are that you can’t carry your concealed weapon into a place serving alcohol or onto school property.

    Regarding background checks at gun shows, it’s pretty clear from my research that collectors and private individuals can sell guns at gun shows without a criminal background check. The only background checks at a gun show would happen if you were buying from a federally licensed gun dealer. If you know otherwise, fill me in; did this change after the VT massacre?

    Common Sense, my sarcasm was triggered by this comment from your first post:

    “Or, we could just pass more laws to further restrict a person’s ability to defend them self, that way the criminals will be less hesitant about attacking” (emphasis added).

    To me, that’s just pure NRA/gun-industry inflammatory rhetoric. We can reasonably disagree about how much regulation and restriction there ought to be on who gets to have a handgun and where one can have a handgun. But if we paint those in favor of regulations as bent on limiting your ability to defend yourself — as if what Jim Brady et. al. really, really want to see is you, helpless and alone on a dark city street, surrounded by menacing thugs wielding AK-47s…fill in your favorite NRA-generated advertising image. The NRA’s rhetoric on this issue is insulting to people who do NOT actually want to take away all your guns but who do think it’s reasonable and responsible to do things like make sure someone buying a gun has had safety training, for example. Personally, I much prefer the comments of someone like Jack, who talks a lot about his guns, but whom I’ve NEVER heard spout off any NRA-swallowed crap about evil liberals bent on rendering him gunless.

  • You know, everyone seems to have a comment but why, suddenly are some of the responses becoming so petty and mean? Can’t we all get along, express our views, and do it in… “for lack of a better word” …professional manner? Some of the interactions and responses to this particular blog disturb me greatly. Whether you agree or disagree, after all, this is a blog and I would hope we could blog in “good taste.”

  • Some of the interactions and responses to this particular blog disturb me greatly. Whether you agree or disagree, after all, this is a blog and I would hope we could blog in “good taste.”

    Yeah. I’m reconsidering my decision to let people post comments without first creating an account. Removing that restriction appears to have opened up the floodgates to stupid. I’m not convinced that the tradeoff is worth it.

  • Thank you to the previous posts for validating my reality check observation. You actually think two months in jail, house arrest (which I am sure they blew off), and probation is a fair sentence for beating up another human being without provocation and in effect taking that persons sense of security away from them forever? A few sessions with some state-employee court appointed counselor is going to cure a disfunctional childhood and mind. I would like to see how much “restitution” was paid. What did they do garnish their welfare checks? I doubt any of those that were caught in the previous attacks turned their lives around due to their “harsh” sentences. It was just a rite of passage for them to bigger and worse acts. No wonder the Alston murder sentence was such a joke, I thought it was because his daddy paid off the jury or something. People in C-ville really are naive about the evil and lack of remorse among common criminals. Charlottesville is going to become a city, where decent law abiding citizens fear to go out at night, and the police are powerless to protect them due to a lenient criminal justice system that coddles the thugs.
    I will just read the paper, laugh, and watch downtown Charlottesville begin to look like downtown East St. Louis….

  • chris2059,

    You would do better to either focus on issues or events that you have a first hand account of, or site some kind of evidence. Otherwise you come off sounding like an ass when you say you are “sure” that people blew off their house arrest, or the folks involved were on welfare.

    You have an interesting perspective, don’t make shit up. Stick with what you know or go call “the Rant” at the Cville. I would rather you stay here and tell us what you know.

  • “Regarding background checks at gun shows, it’s pretty clear from my research that collectors and private individuals can sell guns at gun shows without a criminal background check. The only background checks at a gun show would happen if you were buying from a federally licensed gun dealer. If you know otherwise, fill me in; did this change after the VT massacre?”

    Cecil(2), that is a half truth. It is correct that private sales at gun shows do not require checks while sales by licensed dealers do. However, “The only background checks” gives the impression that these are rare or exceptional. 90% or more of the guns for sale at gun shows are sold by licensed dealers, and the exceptions are as often as not some old guy walking around with his 1950s deer rifle with cardboard “for sale” sign dangling from it.

    I don’t have a problem with telling those guys they have to find buyers some other way; despite the hype, the shows would be just fine with only licensed dealers (and most of what’s for sale isn’t guns at all but rather parts, accessories, gear, various surplus, books, and novelties). But the impact on crime and on illegal gun sales would be negligible. The “gun show loophole” is a red herring.

  • Jan’s paraphrase of Chief Longo, the hottest cop on the East Coast, ow!:
    “it’s up to US to tell the cops who these kids are and where they are.”

    Jan’s response:
    “So it’s OUR job now? He doesn’t have detectives who can actually investigate?”

    Miss LaGrape’s rebuttal:
    “Um…yes.”
    As in, “Yes, it is in fact our duty as citizens to give the cops any information we have as to the who-abouts of these misdemeanourous miscreants.”

    That doesn’t look like cartoonishly bleeding heart liberalism, Bruce.

    “Bruce”, please remember that “quotes” go around the “exact words” that “a person said.”

    Chill, Winston!

    *passes BruceBruce a BluntBlunt, sold to me by Chris2059’s 24-year-old single welfare mom*

    Ya know, Chris, I was all ready to be the bitch that fell off and landed on your head…but then I just started to cry at what you said. I really did. I’m not being sarcastic.

    “little animals”
    “single welfare queen mom”
    “garnish their welfare checks”

    What is this, man? It’s one thing for me to read these kind of opinions on Slate.com from someone faceless blogger far away. But, Chris, you could be living next door to me right now. And you believe this…this…Jim Crow era shit you wrote.

    “lenient criminal justice system”? Except if you’re black.
    “coddles the thugs”? Except if they’re black.
    It’s blacks that are disproportionately filling our jail cells. That doesn’t sound like leniency or coddling to me.

    You have conflated your hatred of crime with your hatred of black folk, and to paraphrase Debarge, the racist hate that’s deep inside of you will all reveal in time.

  • Cecil(2), again, I don’t know why you continue to personally attack me. I don’t appreciate you describing my personal opinions as “pure NRA/gun-industry inflammatory rhetoric” and “NRA-swallowed crap”.

    I am not a member of the NRA. I actually don’t know much about them.

    Again, laws only restrict those who abide by them. Violent street thugs willing to attack and/or murder someone care nothing about violating a gun posession law. Do you disagree?

    There are actually more restrictions on carrying concealed (with a permit) than the two you list.

    You are correct about gun shows and background checks. However, “federally licensed dealers” means all dealers, as to be a dealer you need a federal firearms license. Also, private sale has nothing to do with a gun show. Non-dealer gun-owners (like myself) may freely sell guns to one another without a background check, regardless of whether or not they are at a gun show. I wish there were a way an individual could do a background check. If such a system existed, I would be all for people using it. Enforcing it as a law would be difficult though, unless all guns were registered, something most gun owners fear as a slippery slope to banning and collecting guns. Also, it would only affect those who abide by the law.

    I also would not object to requiring someone to pass a safety course before being able to purchase a gun. I don’t know why you assumed that I would be against it.

    In addition my comments about laws further restricting ones ability to defend them self was really about our nation, not Virginia or the City of Charlottesville. Perhaps I should have made that more clear. For example, earlier this year, I attended a Washington Nationals baseball game. As you may know, guns are banned in D.C. I road the metro for 40 minutes each way (at night on the way back). My friend, who attended with me, also mentioned that the area of town where RFK is located is not a particularly good part of D.C. Of course, because we abide by the law, neither of us carried a gun. Were someone to decide to mug/rob/etc. one of us, we would fairly defenseless. Do you think D.C. thugs are gunless too so as not to violate a D.C. gun law? Wow, there must not be any gun crime in D.C.!

    Your comments give me the impression that you are someone who knows little about guns and gun laws and thinks that laws restricting the ability of law abiding citizens will actually restrict criminals as well. It doesn’t do any good for the victim for the system to add a gun possession charge to a murder charge.

    Imaging yourself walking back from dinner one winter evening in the dark from a restaurant on the downtown mall. Thugs step out from behind a corner and approach you and your spouse and kids. You look around and don’t see any officers. Would you prefer to have a gun to pull out and hopefully scare them off? Too bad. You most likely dined at a place that serves alcohol, so you don’t have it. What do you think of this scenario?

    As a fellow gun owner, I would be interested to hear what Jack thinks of my comments thus far.

    I appologize for hijacking the thread. It was not my original intent. I will say nothing further in regards to guns.

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