Ahhhh summers in Downtown Silver Spring. The laughter of children playing in the fountain. Blockbuster movies at The Majestic. Enjoying an ice cream on the new Veterans Plaza. Getting your face smashed in on the sidewalk outside the Baja Fresh. Wait, what?
One would think a Monday evening would be a perfectly safe time to stroll through the bustling areas of downtown Silver Spring, but clearly that was not the case yesterday, when passers-by were subjected to verbal and physical assault by a group of teenagers. According to The Gazette, the teens were harassing pedestrians walking near the outdoor seating area of the Baja Fresh on Fenton Street, getting up in their grills and making "crazy sexual comments". This may sound like a familiar story to women who have passed through DTSS unaccompanied on a Friday or Saturday night, but unfortunately this time the abuse went beyond being strictly verbal:
From the Gazette:
One middle-aged man tried to ignore the teens and walk past them, but as he walked toward the intersection of Fenton Street and Wayne Avenue, the teen who was accosting pedestrians slapped the man in the back of the head, Wilhelm said. When the man turned around and showed his frustration, at least one other member of the group punched or hit him in the side of the head, according to witnesses and Montgomery County Police...The man fell, and his head slammed against the red brick sidewalk..."The sound I heard was like a brain getting crushed"The man suffered fractured bones in his face, and ultimately fifteen men and women were arrested in connection with the assault.
Somewhat surprisingly, it took ten minutes (or so) for Montgomery County's finest to arrive on the scene. On weekends the nearby intersection of Fenton and Ellsworth is pretty much a cop shop, but I guess they think downtown is tame enough on a Monday night for DTSS security to handle. I would have thought so, too, but I guess not. I won't comment any more on this incident other than to say this is some bullshit. This could have very easily have been me in this situation - or you. Not sure what they can really do about it though, other than to have more cops down there on weekdays.
Oh, and also from the same Gazette article (emphasis mine):
Metro Transit Police (huh?) responded about 11:52 p.m. Saturday night to an unrelated incident outside the Majestic Theater, also at the corner of Fenton and Ellsworth. Several arrests were made in that incident and a handgun was recovered.It's just a matter of time until someone gets shot on Ellsworth and the whole DTSS experiment ends tragically. Hopefully I'm wrong about that.
(Even the apologists may start coming around to my Mosquito idea soon.)