Tuesday, July 13, 2010

While You Were Complaining About Skateboarders...

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.)



117 comments:

Thayer Avenue said...

I can't wait to see the comments on this one.

Anonymous said...

I'll start. I've been seeing packs of feral ghetto teenagers swarming all over downtown for about a week. They move in a straight line from the Metro to Ellsworth and Fenton. I've lived in the area for over three years, and I've never seen it this bad.

To state the obvious, the harassers and criminals in DTSS are all young and black. But the true commonality, I would wager, is that these people are NOT FROM SILVER SPRING. Based on the direction of their travels, they're clearly paying us a visit from DC and PG County. I have lots of black neighbors in SS, who are lovely people and want just as much as I do to hang out in our own neighborhood without this crap going on.

Is this the price we have to pay for having a nice, communal space in our neighborhood? Can we do anything to get rid of the problem businesses (Hello, billiards cafe...)? Can county police station a permanent presence at Fenton/Ellsworth and cite these people for loitering, disturbing the peace, etc., until the criminals get tired of SS and go away?

Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous poster -- this is NOT Silver Spring. We need to nip this in the bud or it will be the downfall of our wonderful downtown.

We need to ask our representatives to help us get a permanent police substation or other presence to deter this kind of behavior.

Anonymous said...

I'd argue that the problem is two-fold, and not necessarily something that can be solved. First off, DTSS is right off a metro, so it's easy access. Second, you basically have an open air mall food court down there with a multi-plex in the center. Is it any wonder that you're going to end up with a bunch of adolescent trash hanging around? Considering that the restaurants are all fast-food or cheap chain joints, is it any wonder you're going to end up with a bunch of lower-income denizens frequenting the area? The place is custom-made to attract low-income teenagers to hang out and treat it as their turf. Sure, rich kids can suck and not all poor kids are trash, but ask any cop or high school teacher and they'll tell you violent behavior in teens is more prevalent from poor homes. That area of DTSS is particularly bad. Ironically you get less trash near McGinty's precisely because it's a bar with a mostly over-21 crowd who (in general) doesn't feel the need to act like teenage hood trash. Sadly, I agree with the original post...at some point the place is going to have some shootings on a crowded night. God help whoever's down there when it happens. Me...I tend to avoid the whole damn area.

Clancy said...

. . . and we only had to wait until the second post to get to the winner!

Thanks for playing everyone.

Anonymous said...

Last night my wife and I were walking up Colesville from the Metro, and got harrassed by a group of teenagers sitting on the wall in front of the Sanz School. One of them stood directly in front of us, blocking our path - and when we cut around him, he bent down in front of me and pretended to, uh, show me some affection, with roars of approving laughter from his crew. (Thankfully that's all they did, though.) I called the police about it, and they were gone by the time I walked by a few minutes later. Wouldn't surprise me if the same group migrated up to the plaza and attacked this poor guy. Now I really wish I'd given the cops a better description.

Anonymous said...

It's definitely been getting worse. I've had a couple of "small" run-ins where kids are bumping into me or giving me a shove to see how I react. I have always kept walking. Maybe that's not such a good idea given what happened to this guy. But, what's the alternative? Start arguing with a bunch of irrational kids or call them out on their stupidity? Unreal. This is bad.

Springvale Roader said...

My similar experience:

Several years ago I was walking home through the Whole Foods parking lot, around 7:30 p.m. on a Tuesday night, i.e., evening rush hour, lots of pedestrians and shoppers, etc.

I saw a group of about 20 youths walking towards me, but it was a school night, and sometimes you see crowds like that on their way from a late school event to wherever.

As I passed them, one or two made rude comments, but one little fucker sucker-punched me in my belly. However, he was small, my winter coat was thick, and it didn't hurt. What followed was a tense standoff, me versus them, with me telling the kid how stupid he just was, and them getting creative with the insults. I wasn't dumb enough to take on a large group of teens, and fortunately they weren't hardcore gangbangers, so it ended peacefully with them and me going our separate ways (with mine being all of 2 blocks to my house).

The upshot -- and I learned this the easy way -- if I see a group of kids headed my way, I will cross the street or otherwise not let myself be within reaching distance of them; if they follow me, then I'll know something is wrong and act accordingly.

If this results in hurt feelings or suspicions of bigotry, that's too bad. I'd rather unintentionally insult some good kids than find myself at the receiving end of some bad kids. One other result: I am now always armed with pepper spray and, as Mr. Thayer Avenue can attest, if I'm out with my wife, I carry a formidable walking stick, too.

As for the kids who assaulted that man and others: try them as adults.

Springvale Roader said...

And Sligo: I second your mosquito suggestion.

Anonymous said...

WHERE ARE OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS? Ervin, Reps. Edwards and Van Hollen get off your lazy fat asses and do something. Get angry, get fed up and do it NOW before someone gets killed. County Council? We need YOUR outrage at this behavior and we need it now. What can you do? Hold press conferences, hire more police, allow them to get more aggressive in combating this animal behavior. Write loitering tickets!!! These kids spend NO MONEY in the downtown area. Kick them out. Write jaywalking tickets (for everyone actually...) harass them enough and they will go away. It is time to act and get this situation under control and for those living in Silver Spring to hold their elected officials accountable.

Anonymous said...

It may be time to start carrying concealed weapons in downtown Silver Spring, something I currently only do while visiting family in Jersey City NJ. Because let me tell you, if one of these thug animals slaps me in the head they're going to get more then a dirty look...

Anonymous said...

I came home on the Metro Monday night from work and there was a group of extremely rowdy teens that boarded at Union Station and got off at Silver Spring. My work colleague and I quietly debated whether to get off and move to another car but stuck with it when they calmed down for a bit. But when we neared Silver Spring the teens began running up and down the car, screaming, throwing each other around, banging into people. And when they got off - I watched to see where they went since I didn't want to go the same way - they were indeed headed straight toward downtown. My teen daughter has been allowed down there with friends for a couple of years - no more. We are at the breaking point, folks.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah, pulling a gun on a group of kids would be a real good idea. either the kids will pull one of their own and whole bunch of people would be massacred or you'll teach a group of kids that they need to arm themselves. the fact that you just suggested such an idea makes clear that gun restrictions are too loose since apparently the mentally handicapped can get their hands on whatever they want.

Anonymous said...

http://www.marylandshallissue.org/

@ anon 9:23pm

they already have them, why can't I legally defend myself? You can wait 10 minutes for the cops if you want...

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the poster who said the downtown area is designed to attract the ghetto trash. There are *a few* business establishments that attract the thug element - McDonald's by the Metro, the billiards cafe, and the Majestic. Other than that, there are no problems. The gangbangers aren't hanging out in Border's; they're not coming here for Iranian or Lebanese food; they're not here for the Starbuck's. Unfortunately, they're here for the civic center open space, because they know they can hang out and do whatever they fuck want and no one will say anything to them.

There needs to be an armed police presence in DTSS every night.

Anonymous said...

@ anon that's a gun nut

A. no, the 15 year old punks 99.9% of the time do not have a gun and if you think that they do then you're simply ignorant and paranoid.

B. you didn't counter my scenarios of either 1. you'll shoot a couple of them, they'll kill you, and you'll probably take out a couple of innocent bystanders along with you or 2. you'll teach a bunch of kids that they need to carry guns to protect themselves.

don't send me some propaganda link - reply with some substance if you're going to make completely psycho remarks about pulling a gun out in the middle of Ellsworth.

Anonymous said...

The area by the McDonalds has become horrendous -- much worse than past summers. Every night, the feral teens congregate there and harass passers-by (it happened to me). It seems like the police are there all the time. I'm not sure why they don't just have a cop stationed there, given how often they get called there after bad things have already happened. I only pass by there because I have to.

In contrast, I don't need to go through the Ellsworth area, so I have stopped going there. My tolerance for rowdy teens acting on their antisocial tendencies is zero. Too bad, because I really like some of the businesses there.

Anonymous said...

For me, it's gotten bad enough that I don't even use the red line in Silver Spring. I live in Sligo Branview, but my office is located right over the Bethesda metro stop. I'll drive an extra fifteen minutes down East-West to have safe parking and generally civilized metro riders. I hate to say it, but once you get on the east side of the red line, the ridership becomes obnoxious at best and overtly threatening at worst. A few more police walking downtown would be helpful, but I think the Civic Center is just going to end up being an extension of Shitty Place. Same crowd, same problems, just outdoors and less avoidable for pedestrians. Also gotta say, I went up to Rockville Town center this friday night and thoroughly enjoyed it - it's everything one might have hoped from the revitalized DTSS.

Thomas Hardman said...

Ah yes, posting under my own name, probably not the best idea, but what the heck.

Look, the problem here is that Maryland has a lot of really weird laws as well as really weird failures of law. That weirdness has pervaded the culture, on the one hand, and on the other hand, has left police nearly powerless to appropriately act to remedy the situation.

Maryland's laws on "riot" specify that "riot" is three or more people acting in a way so as to terrorize a reasonable person.

Almost all other States (or Commonwealths, for you purists) define "riot" as something along the line of the "seven abreast rule". That "seven abreast rule" is that at any time you see seven or more people walking abreast, meaning traveling as a unit, they are subject to being halted for questioning at the very least, and potentially locked up as acting in riot.

Maryland, however, sets the number low at three persons. However, while setting the number low, they set the standard high for the level of misbehavior needed to violate the statute. Nothing less than a violent felony activates the statute sufficiently for officers to appropriately respond. Sadly, this threshold was reached when a middle-aged man was beset by 15 out-of-control youth who put him in the hospital, constituting the felony of Second Degree Assault.

Interestingly, Second Degree Assault -- an assault resulting in permanently disfiguring or incapacitating injury, or any broken bone -- is not an offense subject to arrest without a sworn warrant. It's actually true that in the State of Maryland, you have to swear a complaint before cause can issue. The only good thing about this tragic incapacity of Maryland law is that they're perfectly willing to send a notary for the Commissioner of Police to a hospital to get a deposition and complaint from the witness, assuming that the witness is competent, coherent, and willing.

It's time to change Maryland law to allow for direct intervention on crowd action under a revised "riot" statute. Leave the number at three, and link it to the new anti-gang statute that takes effect in October. Any group moving in such a way as to subject a reasonable person to fear for their own safety and well-being should be subject to a halt for questioning and potentially to arrest.

And let's change the law so that the second any member of any such "traveling abreast" group even so much as does a Verbal Assault (3rd or 4th degree) they are subject to immediate arrest on officer initiative, and the group comparably placed at risk of instant arrest on the matter of behavior of any member individual.

Thomas Hardman said...

Maryland needs to revise its laws to allow the instant arrest of any individual traveling as a group. We need to have "riot" laws like other states, for example the "seven traveling abreast" is the standard in the majority of the States.

At the first act of something so slight as "Verbal Assault" from any member of a group traveling abreast (as a unit) the entire group should be subject to a halt for questioning.

Anonymous said...

How about a curfew for teenagers in SS? Is that even possible to do in this area, or would it have to be countywide?

Big Bubba said...

I think there is a lot of exaggerating going on here. I live 2 blocks from DTSS, walk there all the time, and have yet to encounter some of the stuff people here are saying is a common occurrence.

But, obviously, this incident happened and there have been others.

I'll fault the police when they deserve it. When they are there on weekends they seem more interested in talking to themselves and oblivious to everything else. However, in this case, I could see the cops converge on the area at a very high speed. I knew something big was up. And they did make 15arrests. Maybe they didn't deter the incident, but they sure did well in reaction (I doubt they really took 10 minutes to get there if they nabbed that many people.) Hopefully, their response will get the word out that thugs will be dealt with.

Now I don't want to sound like some big, bad dude, because I'm not. But, I've found when you see groups like this make it known you ain't no pussy. Look tough. Reach for your waist like you're carrying. Walk briskly and confidently. Make no eye contact; look through them.

Maybe my act will do me in one day, but it's always worked for me.

Anonymous said...

I agree that there's a whole boatload of exaggerating going on here. Just because some kids have given you a hard time once or twice in your life doesn't mean you were or are in some immediate danger of physical harm. Violent crime is still quite rare in DTSS. I don't care for the punks hanging around and obviously the police need to do a better job of not letting them have free reign, but to be fearful and avoid the area entirely is just absurd.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon at 10pm

1. I'm not the first gun poster, so there's at least 2 of us out here and I'm not a gun nut, just interested in protecting my rights to life, liberty, and not being preyed upon by predatory thugs

2. With regards to your scenario, either they aren't carrying (your claim) and I'm unsure how they will kill me or they are (refuting your argument) and a fire-fight ensues.

2a. Anyone who owns a gun has a duty to make sure they train with it, I do on a regular basis, and I doubt I'd miss and kill a bunch of innocent bystanders

2b. Regarding killing thug-4-life, you step on roaches don't you?

Anonymous said...

I've called the police asking for help with teens who are punching each other and the police asked me if it looked like they were playing (no), and asked if the victim was complaining. As a community we must agree on social norms and insist on enforcement.
MM

Springvale Roader said...

@Thomas Hardman: What you wrote about the assault and riot laws is disturbing, and I'll accept it at face value since I'm too lazy to verify it. However, if you could provide the underlying citations to the Maryland Code, it would be most helpful to me and others who plan to write to our local representatives about this problem.

One solution is to make DTSS inhospitable to trouble-makers by throwing the book at them. Strictly enforce jaywalking laws, littering laws, laws against blocking sidewalks or business entrances -- basically, every single nuisance law available. Make these reprobates feel that going to DTSS is simply not worth the hassle or discomfort. I.e., drive them away by using all legal tools available.

This will mean more police, which is expensive, but summer is the time to do it, and a short-term investment for the next few months could reap long-term benefits. Conversely, allowing the thugs to consider DTSS their playground can easily result in our town reverting to its past status as a place to avoid, and we've seen how expensive and difficult it is to recover from that.

Terry in Silver Spring said...

Yeah, I'm brave enough to comment under my own name.

- I don't get the hate for Galaxy Billiards. We have office parties there during happy hour times and I've gone in and shot pool at off hours (I'm bad at pool, better to play at slow times. LOL). I've never felt uncomfortable there. I'm a white woman in my late 40's.

- We don't need any more guns, thank you very much.

- What we DO need is some heavier patrols of the area, more so than usual, for a while to convince this bunch of thugs that they can stay within standards of behavior or move along. Mounted police, horses or bikes, so they can move from one end of DTSS to the other rapidly if need be.

- I go to DTSS at least once a week, to the movies or a restaurant or shopping. I've never been threatened or felt uncomfortable. I have, however, had to walk around groups of teens hanging out or dodge a few skateboarders. That's a pain, not a threat.

Anonymous said...

@ Springvale-

The problem with what you suggest is that it will be seen as racial profiling of the little precious snowflakes by people like Anon @11:19 and never fly in our liberal little county.

Anonymous said...

County officials will do nothing about this because EVERYone has a basic constitutional right to come to DTSS.

The comments on here are all exaggerated racism. This happens in Bethesda all the time. We don't want a police state in SS -- with cops chasing off young people who are just having fun.

If you don't agree with this -- you need to get out of Silver Spring. And that's what I intend to do.

Springvale Roader said...

@Anonymous (One of many. You folks need some creative screen names):

The problem with what you suggest is that it will be seen as racial profiling of the little precious snowflakes by people like Anon @11:19 and never fly in our liberal little county.

I know that some people will respond with kneejerk accusations of racism (just look at some messages on this board), but if the police apply the laws fairly, then let the accusations fly until they fly away. In other words, ignore accusations without merit, while keeping an open mind that some cops might indeed cross the line and deserve reprimands.

I'm so liberal, I make Dennis Kucinich look like Sarah Palin, but there is a difference between liberalism and namby-pamby political correctness, and the former should not give in to the latter.

Anonymous said...

Exaggeration? Are you saying the Gazette article is inaccurate? Where's your evidence?

I agree nothing will be done. And I agree that downtown Silver Spring will suffer.

Alex said...

I spend a lot of time in Bethesda, far more than in Silver Spring, and this doesn't happen in downtown Bethesda. I repeat, it doesn't happen in downtown Bethesda. There is just no comparison. Are there a lot of kids? Yeah, there are...but for the most part, they're really pretty polite. I had a kid bump into me last week while he was walking and texting - the kid apologized to me! Try to find that kind of behavior in DTSS. The closest area you could compare is that courtyard outside of Chipotle in Bethesda, and it's an apt comparison because it's an open space off a metro surrounded by two fast food joints (much like DTSS). In that one courtyard area you do get some delinquents, but even then they're really not very interested in the adult passers-by...I should know, I work right across from there and pass by it multiple times a day. The climate is different in Bethesda because you have more places that attract an older crowd. Educated professional twenty- and thirty-somethings and higher earners all the way up through their seventies. The sidewalks are used as cafes for decent restaurants and attract a good number of professionals for business lunches in the afternoon. In the evening you have some kids at the Barnes and nobles and Ben and Jerry's, but again, the majority of the crowd are professional adults. That's because they haven't created a giant open air concrete park surrounded by fast-food joints and a multiplex, which is what they did in DTSS. Seriously, why would a civilized crowd of middle and upper class professional adults want to go see bad multiplex films after spending some time eating a fast food chicken sandwich or burrito outdoors? Or perhaps they would like to sample the gourmet food of Red Lobster before going to a thoroughly unremarkable pool hall? Or perhaps you could go to a Borders (which is a seriously second-rate B&N) after eating some really lame Tex-Mex at a place that couldn't manage to attract enough of a crowd in Bethesda to stay open? Sorry folks, it's the DTSS businesses. Bland retail, fast-food joints, and a couple of chain restaurants that may as well be a McDonald's. In my first visit to Rockville Town Center on Friday, I noticed a lot of kids (black, white and Asian, break dancers and skateboarders), but they were far better behaved. I also noticed a lot more adults. Unsurprisingly, I also perceived a better mix of higher-end restaurants. The reason DTSS is becoming a ghetto mall is because it basically is a ghetto mall...it's just taken a while for the ghetto trash to notice that and migrate up from DC and PGC. I'm just amazed that after the disaster of City Place, the DTSS planners would attempt to build the same place over again, except this time make it outdoors and add a giant cement area for the sole purpose of loitering.

Sligo said...

- Sorry, but DTSS is NOTHING like Shitty Place.

- Many of the much-maligned chain restaurants in DTSS can also be found in nice areas around the DC Metro region.

- Agreed that this doesn't happen in Bethesda, but is probably more due to geography than anything else. Switch Bethesda to the other side of the Red Line and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Wilding.

Terry in Silver Spring said...

"We don't want a police state in SS -- with cops chasing off young people who are just having fun."

The cops shouldn't chase off the teenagers who are just hanging out, or dare I say it...skateboarding. Be there, Officer Friendly on the nice horse or walking around. Show a presence, deal with things quickly and with as low a drama as possible. Everyone is welcome, but if you choose to make trouble, sayonara.

Thayer Avenue said...

@Alex: Bethesda is bordered by a river, Chevy Chase, Potomac, and Kensington/Silver Spring. You have a nice, insulated little community over there in Bethesda with little to no diversity. And like Sligo said: This is not about Shitty Place. This is about Silver Spring being much more accessible to groups like these via metro without having to go through the west side of the red line. And the fact that we're adjacent to some areas that tend to be a bit more dodgy.

Anonymous said...

There are some pretty nice restaurants on Ellsworth comparable to anything in Bethesda -- Redrock, Austin Grill (there's one in downtown Bethesda also), Adega, Lebanese Taverna (again, one in downtown Bethesda also). Not to mention all of the wonderful restaurants that are within a couple of blocks of Ellsworth. We even have some of the same fast food joints as downtown Bethesda -- Chipotle, Baja Fresh, McDonalds (though the Bethesda McDonalds, while only two blocks from metro, is in the opposite direction as the downtown area). And I know plenty of people who love AFI. Believe me, were it not for the ghetto factor of DTSS, I know many adults who would love to come to DTSS in the evenings, but who don't.

The businesses that seem to attract the ghetto teens are the Majestic, McDonalds, and Chick-Fil-A. Get rid of those three, and I think DTSS would change dramatically.

Sligo said...

@Anonymous,

Not that I'm disagreeing with your general point, but the Austin Grill in Bethesda is closed and their Lebanese Taverna is nicer (it's a proper restaurant rather than a cafe version).

Springvale Roader said...

Sligo: Do you know if the the local poobahs read your and other SS blogs?

Sligo said...

I don't know if they bother.

Alex said...

Point taken about the geographic location. I agree, it is a challenge for DTSS. Being on the Northwest end of the Red Line provides something of a deterrent both for Bethesda and Rockville in terms of keeping out unruly transplants and fostering a greater degree of community usage by local residents. However, I'm sticking by my guns (ooops, poor word choice) when I say that the DTSS businesses are far more conducive to serving as a backdrop to adolescent loitering than they are as destination locations for professional, affluent, adult consumers.

Also, just an observation here... When I go to DTSS and observe the various groups of people hanging out, a large number appear to be packs of teen guys hanging out. If you'll pardon the comparison again, I see far more young girls, and mixed company groups of teens in Rockville and Bethesda. I think you can make a case that teen girls will be more apt to hang out in places that are less prone to thuggish behavior and macho, juvenile delinquent drama. This may be my own opinion, or it may be both a cause and effect of adolescent antisocial behavior in open urban areas, but in any case, it seems interesting to point out. Any sociologists out there with some opinion on that?

hugo said...

While I don't doubt that some here are exaggerating the problem (I regularly hang out in DTSS and have never encountered any realistically dangerous situation, though I'm more of a Georgia Ave patron), there's no doubt at all that there is indeed a problem, and I have zero faith that it will be adequately addressed. At the same time, folks who say they avoid DTSS entirely are really missing out - the Kurosawa retrospective at the AFI has made my summer, and we have some of the best and most affordable restaurants in the whole DC area.

That said, it's sad that the area doesn't seem particularly interested in protecting its investment in DTSS and all the great things it has to offer. A message needs to be sent - there's something for everyone, and anyone who wants to come to DTSS is welcome, until the moment they decide they want to start trouble. Unfortunately I have little confidence in that happening.

Seriously, why would a civilized crowd of middle and upper class professional adults want to go see bad multiplex films after spending some time eating a fast food chicken sandwich or burrito outdoors?

Professionals don't eat burritos? I must not be doing it right. Though that explains all the Chipotles, Baja Freshes, and Qdobas all over downtown DC, Dupont Circle, and the like.

s. said...

Teenagers hang out. They hang out outside and they hang out in summer. Me and my snotty white teen friends did it 20 years ago- we were loud, rude, and destructive. What's new? Keep the area full of teenagers, adults, children, businesses of high and low caliber. I live here because it's vibrant city life. And popular, crowded (semi-)urban destinations need police presence. DTSS needs a permanent police mini-station on Ellsworth in summer. How come a city official doesn't know this already?

Sligo said...

The last thing I want to see in DTSS is a police substation. You know where had a police substation? The OLD downtown Silver Spring. Also, Langley Park at the corner of University and Piney Branch. Having a police substation erected means the area in question is already lost.

Instead, why not just have cops patrol the neighborhood on foot rather than driving by in their cruisers? I want to see some old-school Irish cops with big mustaches who whistle and swing their nightsticks as they stroll through the streets.

Anonymous said...

I say this as a life long member of the Democratic party, but I think one ofthe mains reasons why our elected officials don't give a damn is because there is absolutely no competition in our county (or federal/stateelections) elections. If there were, a challenger would be holding press conferences ranting and raving every time one of these animal thugs did something like this. However, our elected officials have absolutely nothing to worry about except for the odd primary. It's a sad truth.

"How come a city official doesn't know this already?"

Another problem is that we are not a city. If we were it would be easier to hold someone accountable for crime (and other issues), the Mayor and city council responsible only for Silver Spring.

I'd also add that I'm sick of the terrible reporting. Why didn't Gazette do some reasl journalism and interview the County Council members, including the President? Let's hold their feet to the fire.

Chris Wilhelm said...

I was a witness to the most recent incident and was quoted in the Gazette article. I invite everyone to join me and a group of diverse people who will be gathering at the location of the assault on Thursday, July 15 at 7pm. We will be reclaiming our new civic space with a positive message and positive energy.

Also, I suggest to the author of this blog that you disallow anonymous comments so that people have to own their words, whether they have a reasonable complaint or if they simply want to spew prejudiced nonsense.

-Chris Wilhelm

Alex said...

I want to see some old-school Irish cops with big mustaches who whistle and swing their nightsticks as they stroll through the streets.
Hah! I'm picturing Sean Connery in The Untouchables strolling around DTSS and giving stern lectures on manners and pulling up one's trousers!

Anonymous said...

@ Sligo - So you are requesting a bunch of Season 3 finale era The Wire Jimmy McNultys patrolling DTSS?

one-star said...

@ 10:24

Regarding the county council, they care about (in order)

1. unionized base of support (gotta keep the gravy train running)

2. "victims groups" minority, women, casa, you name it (gotta keep the liberal credentials burnished)

3. personal pet projects

that's about it......I've been trying to get Ervin's office to respond to a number of blight issues in and around my hood and can't even get a "thank you for your email" response out of her office. Floreen and Leventhal to a better job, but not much.

Basically, you live east of the park forget about the government caring unless there is big development money (Lee Group), union money (Fire Stations) or a good photo op in it for them

Sligo said...

- I was probably subconsciously thinking of the Sean Connery character.

- Didn't McNulty get stuck on a boat after season 3?

- Maybe what we need is a Mel Gibson Lethal Weapon cop.

one-star said...

Dear Chris Wilhelm

let me guess, you're all going to sing kumbaya, talk about how the government only needs to spend more money on "social causes", and hold hands and this will make everyone better right?

Giuliani proved that if you crack down on low level crime (loitering, vandalism, thuggery) things get better....and if this means a few cracked heads, so be it. I pay my taxes, so I paid for DTSS and I have a right to use it. The ill-bred vermin that DC/PG export to it do not....move them on or back home.

Anonymous said...

To Chris Wilhelm -

What prejudiced nonsense are you referring to? I don't see any comments on this thread that are offensive, unless some which I have not seen have been taken down.

Springvale Roader said...

I agree with Chris Wilhelm: the Gazette did a lousy job of covering this incident, especially by relegating the story to deep inside the paper instead of on the front page where it belongs.

A man is violently assaulted on a Monday night in the heart of DTSS by a large group of thugs, and this is not front page news? How can that be?

As Sligo suggested, it might come down to someone being shot dead in front of the new Civic Center before the County takes things seriously, but by then it will be too late, in every way.

s. said...

Eh, Sligo, you're right. Sub-station sends bad message. But you caught my meaning- cops need to be present, regularly. They need to be known and know the kids, regular offenders by name. There's been enough documented incidents to easily justify this. And let's cool this area down a little before the new library (giant air conditioned space with free internet) opens right in the middle of it.

Anonymous said...

The library will not be a problem. The existing library, which is directly next to my building, is always quiet and pleasant when I go there.

The library is staffed and supervised, and anyone who would cause any trouble there will be evicted promptly. For obvious reasons, thugs aren't looking to go places where they're being watched by responsible adults.

Patrick Thornton said...

Of course the library won't be a problem. It's a place of learning. Something tells me these kids don't do a lot of that.

Foot patrols would largely solve this issue. Police should not be standing in one place or just driving around in cars. If a police officer was regularly walking down Fenton, most of these issues would disappear.

Also, City Place has to go. Is there any plan to redevelop that and turn it into something more useful? The best case scenario would be to turn it into something mixed use, but as long as it stays in its current form, DTSS will never be able to reach its full potential.

Anonymous said...

The reason many of us post anonymously is because identifying ourselves will open us up to the most vile charges -- of classism, racism, etc. -- that absolutely are not true but are the refuge of people who just don't want to face up to what's going on in SS.

BTW, one self-proclaimed "progressive" in the community recently told me that "this is just the way black kids act; give over it!" Who, in that case, is the "racist?"

Sligo said...

Maybe we can have a stop the violence concert. That worked out well last time.

Anonymous said...

The Ellsworth mall is private property, and the security officers there can evict troublemakers (hell, they tried to evict photographers a couple of years back.)

The county, however, definitely needs to do a better job of patrolling the path from the Metro to Ellsworth. In recent weeks, I've seen a regular presence of cops on foot on the Ellsworth strip near the movie theater, and I think that's great. Clearly that needs to be permanent.

Chris Wilhelm said...

One-star:

Actually, on Saturday we will not be reading the communist manifesto; we will be gathering the community to use the new civic space as it was intended to be used. Drum circles are fun, you should check it out.

I was frustrated with the police response, and I hope to see some beefed-up security presence around the plaza. How about an effort to employ youth to maintain and secure the space in partnership with police and the civic building staff?

Anonymous: If you are not commenting in a prejudiced way, should you not be able to make a coherent argument under your own name as to why you are not being prejudiced?

I am disturbed by this kind of comment: "The ill-bred vermin that DC/PG export..." We can have a reasonable discussion about our community without that kind of rhetoric.

-Chris

Chris Wilhelm said...

My mistake one-star, the Thursday gathering is just to get people together to talk and be a positive presence at the sight of the assault, kind of like a vigil. On Saturday at 7pm we will be kicking off a weekly drum circle in the plaza, much for the same purpose. Let's crowd out violence from the new civic space by filling it with people having fun.

Anonymous said...

IHATEYUPPIES SAID:

Look...These kids have nothing to do. There are not enough summer jobs in DC to employ them. Where can you find public spaces in shitty DC neighborhoods like downtown Silver Spring? The parents are more than happy to give the kid some money for bus or train fare to Silver Spring so they can have some peace at home.

A previous poster compared his encounters with Bethesda vs. the kids in Silver Spring. Comparing Bethesda teenagers to DC teenagers makes no sense.

Did Bethesda kids grow up in a neighborhood where they had to dodge bullets and drug-slinging corner crews?

Did Bethesda kids grow up in single-parent homes where the parent has to work TWO or THREE jobs to pay for the housing, food, clothing and school supplies? The kid hardly ever sees his Mom (or Dad).

Did Bethesda kids grow up in a broken public school system where you have crappy teachers and administrators who view YOU as a Hopeless Cause. If there was no future for my grandparents and parents generation, how will things change for me?

Did Bethesda kids face countless violent bullying from elementary school and onward until the victim becomes a violent aggressor himself?

Did Bethesda kids ever encounter racism and vicious stereotypes that could break your spirit as a human being?

Did Bethesda kids ever experience constant harassment by the police just because they were young, male, Black and walking down a sidewalk minding their own business?

You add up all these things and I can see why kids have destructive social behavior. I would be pissed off too if I grew up in such an environment. I would also argue that for every 20 kids who behave like felons, there are 100 more who behave themselves and fight against the odds of failure. They work at improving themselves and making a better life down the road.

Funny how the "Charlie Bronson" types (talking to you, Hardman!) in this forum never post anything positive about young black people.

-IHY-

Anonymous said...

IHY:

So we should all turn and look the other way when young thugs go wild in Silver Spring and attack people at will because their mommy's and daddy's didn't kiss them good night? Wow that's liberalism at its scariest. I agree DC kids have problems, let social services do their best to fix them. Doesn't mean innocent people should let their community go to hell.

Springvale Roader said...

IHY:

We all understand the reasons that kids turn into thugs, just like we understand the reasons that a sweet puppy can be so abused that it grows into a vicious killer.

In the end, you still have a thug or vicious killer on your hands, and though it's tragic that they ended up the way they did, the more immediate problem is making sure that they don't hurt you or someone you care about. Your sympathy and kind and understanding words will not protect you, but might earn you a laugh and an insult before you get your face broken. Rent the movie "Colors" for a good idea of what I'm talking about.

So yes, let's do what we can as individuals or societies to prevent those kinds of tragedies, for all concerned, but let's also deal wisely with what we failed to prevent.

Torch said...

George Leventhal will be at the Takoma Park Community Center tonight at 7:30.

Ask him how the County intends to engage state lawmakers and revise County code to curtail nuisance crime through better police enforcement.

The recklessness with which some of our posters want to employ their personal firearms is appalling. I say this as a gun owner (rifle, shotgun, and pistol) and a Marine: let the police force do its job by giving them the legal tools they need, and keep your privately-owned and personally-trained weaponeering private.

Otherwise, the most effective political action is done with dollars, not public love-ins. Get a group of concerned citizens together to fund a law-and-order candidate in the Democratic primary for the at-large seat, and another to challenge Ms. Ervin. A well-funded competitor is the surest way to get a politician's attention, and someone who comes to the table having raised a few hundred grand will get a lot of attention. They don't even have to win: a protest candidate just has to force the issue and make the incumbents tackle the policy problem. Ross Perot's candidacy enabled us to tackle the Reagan-era debt and return to a surplus: he accomplished his policy mission without winning office.

Unfortunately, politics costs a lot of money, and I kind of doubt that the anger over this incident will prompt folks to donate the necessary cash.

Anonymous said...

"George Leventhal will be at the Takoma Park Community Center tonight at 7:30."

I can't make it because I have to work but please someone who can go do so and express our concerns. If one of the Silver Spring bloggers is able to go that's even better. Our elected officials must know that this type of behavior is unacceptable and that they, since they represent us, are accountable for public safety and if better laws are necessary then they have to pass them.

Clancy said...

Sligo's been fearing/predicting the Majestic shooting scenario for years . . . When and if it happens, I'm not sure it will have been anymore likely to happen there as anywhere else in America. Fact is, that kind of thing can pretty much happen anywhere in this country (and has). Following such an event, a stigma generally only attaches itself to a location if it already had a reputation for bad behavior to begin with. While I'm not sure this incident is enough to give Ellsworth such a reputation, it wouldn't take too many of these types of attacks to kill everything that has been accomplished in DTSS.

While some have noted that the police in MoCo apparently don't have the authority to arrest people for behaving badly (whatever that may entail), study after study demonstrates that their mere presence acts as a criminal deterrent. I would rather the police didn't have to arrest anyone in the first place. If an increased number of foot patrols in key downtown neighborhoods has the side benefit of decreasing large groups of loitering hooligans (because I've grown tired of reading the socially-loaded term "thug"), then DTSS would be that much better a place for everyone else. . . maybe.

As for some business attracting the wrong element, that's laughable. The businesses on Ellsworth attract all sorts of people. I'm in DTSS 5 times a week and usually hit Ellsworth while doing it. I frequent each of the supposed problem establishments and (anecdotally) find that they generally tend to attract young families with kids and workers from Discovery and other local offices. During most of the day, these two groups probably account for 60-75% of the people on Ellsworth.

The billiards place and the evenings on Ellsworth are different, but no more frightening, really. (In honesty, I once had an interaction that I would perhaps characterize as "strange" with one patron of the billiards hall, but I'm pretty sure he was just high, and he was definitely not violent.) Even after reading about this incident, I would have no reservations about continuing to take my toddler over to Ellsworth for an evening run through the fountain and a quick bite to eat at one of the restaurants.

Clancy said...

Sligo's been fearing/predicting the Majestic shooting scenario for years . . . When and if it happens, I'm not sure it will have been anymore likely to happen there as anywhere else in America. Fact is, that kind of thing can pretty much happen anywhere in this country (and has). Following such an event, a stigma generally only attaches itself to a location if it already had a reputation for bad behavior to begin with. While I'm not sure this incident is enough to give Ellsworth such a reputation, it wouldn't take too many of these types of attacks to kill everything that has been accomplished in DTSS.

While some have noted that the police in MoCo apparently don't have the authority to arrest people for behaving badly (whatever that may entail), study after study demonstrates that their mere presence acts as a criminal deterrent. I would rather the police didn't have to arrest anyone in the first place. If an increased number of foot patrols in key downtown neighborhoods has the side benefit of decreasing large groups of loitering hooligans (because I've grown tired of reading the socially-loaded term "thug"), then DTSS would be that much better a place for everyone else. . . maybe.

As for some business attracting the wrong element, that's laughable. The businesses on Ellsworth attract all sorts of people. I'm in DTSS 5 times a week and usually hit Ellsworth while doing it. I frequent each of the supposed problem establishments and (anecdotally) find that they generally tend to attract young families with kids and workers from Discovery and other local offices. During most of the day, these two groups probably account for 60-75% of the people on Ellsworth.

The billiards place and the evenings on Ellsworth are different, but no more frightening, really. (In honesty, I once had an interaction that I would perhaps characterize as "strange" with one patron of the billiards hall, but I'm pretty sure he was just high, and he was definitely not violent.) Even after reading about this incident, I would have no reservations about continuing to take my toddler over to Ellsworth for an evening run through the fountain and a quick bite to eat at one of the restaurants.

Clancy said...

Apologies for the double comment post. Blogger told me the first one didn't take and I believed it.

Terry in Silver Spring said...

"I think you can make a case that teen girls will be more apt to hang out in places that are less prone to thuggish behavior and macho, juvenile delinquent drama."

Bethesda has more shops and a greater diversity of shops. It's a better place for girls to stroll around, look in the windows, and chat. Basically, it's an outdoor mall. DTSS has a few shops, but more restaurants or other kinds of businesses. Less window shopping potential. Back in the day, I'd have probably looked around DSW, Ulta, and the Pyramid Arts store. What else is there? Ann Taylor and Pier One? Not that interesting to teen girls, really.

One other difference between Silver Spring and Bethesda. Imagine what would happen if a group of thugs did beat up a man in Bethesda. HUGE outcry. Public meetings. Statements by politicians. Announcements of plans for taking care of this issue. When it happened in Silver Spring, there was an article in the Gazette and we here on a few blogs are upset.

Anonymous said...

Silver Spring Urban District Advisory Committee Meeting
July 15, 2010
3:30 p.m.
Urban District Office, 3rd floor
8110 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(Parking available in rear of building)

Anonymous said...

My biggest concern at the moment is WHY DID IT TAKE THE POLCIE 10 MINUTES TO RESPOND TO AN ASSAULT? The police station is no more than 2 minutes from where the assault took place. If we had greater police presence and no tolerance for loitering from unruly people of any age or race we could deter 99% of these problems.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I were having beers on the patio at FS1 late Sat night (bw 12 - 1am) when a group of 10 or so black male teens came sprinting southbound across the lanes on Georgia ave. In close pursuit was a police officer on foot yelling for someone to call 911 because he dropped his radio. The whole ordeal ended directly across from FS1 on Georgia near the karate studio. The whole patio applauded. Looks like they caught most of them. I wonder if it was related to the incident mentioned at the end of this blog post? Now that school is out it looks like summer boredom has brought a lot of city trash out to make trouble.

Anonymous said...

Silver Spring Urban District Advisory Committee Meeting
July 15, 2010
3:30 p.m.


Wow an advisory committee meeting at 330pm on a Thursday. Very convenient for everyone who lives in Silver Spring and concerned about issues, except for those who, you know, have a job. Make it 7pm or even 6pm and I'm there.

wombat said...

Well, I don't know how people can be concerned about not enough police presence. Apparently we just don't understand what the real problems are. I walked by the civic building today and my husband went in to see the inside for a minute. As I waited at the door, an officer came running out to shoo me away because my dog's tiny front feet were just over the threshold of the building.

So they may not do anything about skateboarders or packs of rowdy teens, but you can rest assured, they are making sure that the metal doorsill paid for with your tax dollars remains unsullied by canine paws.

Terry in Silver Spring said...

I was walking around DTSS tonight (dinner and a movie). It was normal. A diverse crowd of people, wide range of ages (teeny kids in the fountain to seniors walking or sitting). No more police or security than usual. No groups of teens who seemed to be looking for trouble, either.

ForestGlen said...

I'm glad DTSS isn't like Bethesda. Rather deal with a few rowdy teens and some diversity then a bunch of yuppies and there snobby kids.

one-star said...

Hey Torch-

Didnt you advocate sniper teams to take care of Baltimore's "stop snitching" problem?

The point Im trying to make is in the absence of police presence I should have the right to protect myself from lethal harm. Its a straight line from the founders intent to Heller/Mcdonald to the right of a citizen to self defense.

ForestGlen said...

Oh yeah, and Sligo has a good point. Suddenly, a bunch of noisy skateboarders doesn't seem all that bad anymore does it

Springvale Roader said...

Skateboarders were never all that bad, but their skateboards can and do tear up property that isn't designed for skateboarding. The kids need a skateboard park.

And, I don't know about the rest of you, but I'd rather deal with those dreaded yet peaceful yuppies, than packs of antisocial kids who knock people to the brick sidewalk.

Lastly, Terry asked why there isn't more of an uproar over this. I wonder, though, how many Silver Spring residents even know it occurred. It's not as if it made front page news.

Silver Spring: Then and Again said...

S3,

Wow, 80+ comments. Is this your personal best?

Danielle Meitiv said...

I was ten feet away when it happened and I would hang out there again. In fact, we need to be there more, and not let this crap chase us out of our downtown. Otherwise, we'll no one to blame but ourselves if we feel like we can't step outside our doors at night.

A couple of corrections to the Gazette article: it did not take the cops 10 minutes to get there - I left before then and kids were already being hauled into police cars with more chasing down the rest. In fact, my husband and I said that we felt very safe seeing how quick and efficient the response was. Yes, it could be better and a police substation is a great idea, but it's hardly the South Bronx in the 70s.

Also, the article failed to mention the dozen or so people who immediately came to that man' aid, calling the cops, chasing the teens, and getting an ambulance. What happened was that a whole lot of good people were enjoying the new downtown space with a few nasties thrown in. What we need to do is not run away but GO THERE MORE, claim our turf and not let this BS take it away from us. I moved here three years ago with little kids and I have every intention of allowing them to go to the library, movies, civic center, etc alone when they are of age. I REFUSE to let trash like this ruin my downtown.

Danielle Meitiv

Danielle Meitiv said...

Correction - I agree that a police substation might not be the best way. better to increase foot/bike patrols. Much better deterrent.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification on the police response. It certainly didnt make sense that it would take them 10 minutes, yet 15 people were arrested. I also wholeheartedly agree that to let isolated events like this deter you from going to DTSS is absurd and harmful to the community. It's embarassing to hear people talk like that. Please leave the white flight irrational racist fear in the 20th century.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the cops are handling the wilding incidents (apparently there have been several others) reasonably well:

http://www.gazette.net/stories/07152010/montnew180157_32549.php

Anonymous said...

Not sure if this is the same guy who was harassing people on Monday (and who is now in jail), but if so, he IS a skateboarder.

Big Bubba said...

First, here is a link to the article that works - http://www.gazette.net/stories/07152010/montnew180157_32549.php.

The article does state the head a-hole, Dante Chriss, is not known as a skateboarder affliated with those who regularly skateboard in the area. He is from Oxon Hill and a rather light 147 pounds (they feel tougher when a crowd is backing them.)

The kid who delivered the hit, Kunle Kehinde, is from Anacostia (long way from home.) Just taking a guess, but seeing his name and the name of the person who posted bond for him it seems he comes from an African immigrant family.

The information gathered can be found at http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/inquiry-index.jsp.

Big Bubba said...

add _32549.php to the link for the Gazette story. Don't why it cuts this off.

Anonymous said...

I hope some of the increased police presence is devoted to the area near the McDonalds, including the Metro. The article does mention that the teens began harrassing people there before moving to Veterans Plaza, and I have experienced harrassment in that area as well. Police are often called to the McDonalds, and I know of arrests on at least three occasions in the past month or so, so it would make sense to have a cop patrolling that area.

BTW, the article debunks two of our theories: (1) at least some of the feral teens are indeed from SS; and (2) not all of them are growing up in poverty; poor folks don't post $150,000 bonds.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate everyones comments here. In fact, I feel better just knowing that there are others who are equally disgusted by this increase in crime and disturbance. I want to enjoy this area that I spend so much money to live in. I shouldn't have to feel like I am scared to walk around my own backyard. The cops need our support and the county council needs to know that we support more patrols and a larger tougher response to crime. If we don't get a handle on this now--it will be too late and we will have squandered an opportunity to make silver spring a safe and enjoyable neighborhood.
I urge you to email the county council and let them know that you support more funding for our local police. heres a link to their emails. http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/csltmpl.asp?url=/content/council/contact.asp

Big Bubba said...

Poor folks can post $150,000 bond. Look at a map where the kid came from - he's not anywhere close to well to do.

With bondsmen you don't need to put up the full figure. You merely need to show you have some collateral and are likely to show up for your court case.

Anonymous said...

I work in Silver Spring.
This is why I dont live or go out in Silver Spring.

Springvale Roader said...

@Aonymous 8:54 a.m.:

I live in Silver Spring and love it. I go out to restaurants and bars and the amazing AFI, and I exercise in Sligo Creek or simply walk in our beautiful neighborhood with my wife.

What crime-free utopia do you flee to after you leave work?

Anonymous said...

The crime is not particular to or representative of Silver Spring. It is particular to a specific ghetto thug subculture that, unfortunately, exerts a hold on a very sizable minority of residents in the DC metro area.

Unfortunately, these types of incidents happen everywhere in the DC area that isn't a lily-white, high-income enclave, particularly when it can be easily reached by public transportation. Does anyone think this stuff doesn't go on in Georgetown or Dupont? Of course it does - and much more frequently than it does in Silver Spring.

That's the sad reality of DC. It's one of the many things we just have to accept while living here.

Commoncents said...

I feel sorry for these kids, school is out and they face the worst teen job market ever. Their parents don't give a damn either what they do with their time and are all too happy to give them a few bucks to ride the metro and leave them alone. What we need is to give them something to do - have a skateboard competition somewhere in DTSS. Have a teen rap contest on the stage on Ellsworth. Something to stop the hanging out and start the tuning in.

Anonymous said...

"have a skateboard competition somewhere in DTSS. Have a teen rap contest on the stage on Ellsworth. Something to stop the hanging out and start the tuning in."

Um, no. Okay, so build them a skate park but not int he downtown area, but fine nearby. No rap competition. Lat summer they had a concert that quickly turned into a riot. Not a good idea.

Anonymous said...

I find it absurd that we have some apologists who try to act as though this behavior should be justified because these kids come from bad families. Look, I fully appreciate that these kids may not have led charmed lives, but there is no excuse for this sort of violence. Plenty of kids grow up in similar circumstances and are well-behaved. Don't make excuses for these thugs -- this is not about them not having proper places to skateboard or hang out. Frankly, the violence won't go away even if you do give them those things, and in fact, those things may attarct more violence. Some examples: (1) the Anti-Violence concert, (2) this incident itself -- after all, these youth turned the plaza into a skateboard park, but that wasn't enough for them. They had to attack someone who wasn't bothering them in any way, (3) two recent shootings in DC outside of the same recreation center.

Fundamentally, these incidents are about a basic lack of respect for fellow human beings. These kids are making voluntary choices to harrass and assault others. Anyone who exhibits this sort of moral corruption does not deserve our sympathy, and we should not be trying to build things or organize events that will attract more of their ilk to our community.

Springvale Roader said...

The skateboard kids really could use a skateboard park.

As for the thugs that commit crimes and harass people, they too could use something to do with their free time this summer. They can build the skateboard park, under the watchful eyes of Silver Spring's finest.

It's a win-win.

Anonymous said...

I emailed all of the At Large Councilmember's today as well as Valerie Ervin and county Executive Leggett's office. The only person who responded was Councilmember Leventhal agreeing that the violence is disturbing and that something needs to be done. He also CC'd MCPD and other County officials. At least one of them seems to care about their duty as elected reps. I was happy with his initial response, and appreciate him writing back. Too bad the rest of them don't give a damn, especially Ervin as I've heard she ignores emails all the time.

I'd really like to get involved in community action, that is practical and not extremist on either end (neither the apologist hippy everyone sing together crowd OR the carry a gun and shoot people crowd). The answer is in the middle, I just wish it were easier to get active in downtown Silver Spring.

Anonymous said...

I think Maryland's weird penchant for not incorporating cities and towns makes an effective response much more difficult. My dealings with Montgomery County have often been exercises in fruitless bureaucratic navigation. If there were authority figures actually accountable to the needs of Silver Spring residents, rather than pencil-pushers in Rockville, to deal with, I think a response would be easier.

Springvale Roader said...

One major factor in our favor is the new Civic building. The county spent a ton of money on it, and I expect that they will do what is necessary to safeguard their investment by keep its environs safe.

The new transit center will help in that regard, too.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that Leventhal is the only councilmember who seems to care. But I guess we just have to keep writing and insist that harassment by thugs and crime will not be tolerated by this community. A lot of the trouble makers who come here are not from this immediate area. So I ask you—why should we tolerate it? Georgetown and Bethesda do not tolerate this activity in their streets.
Stop making excuses for crime and those who commit it. These groups do not respect you or the nice things that our tax money is being spent on. They can make a skate park in Arlington Virginia. See how well that goes over.

Anonymous said...

Tonight (Fri.) there is a huge police presence in downtown Silver Spring. I just came out from Piratz Tavern (don't ask) with a friend at about 11pm, and there were about 3 police vehicles and at least 2 bike cops standing around, with two black guys in custody and one in handcuffs. Then, walking home, I passed Colesville & Spring, where there were about six cop cars and a bunch of cops with another black guy - from what I could hear as I passed by, he exposed himself to a woman in the street.

Let's hope the police keep up this type of presence. It's wonderful to see.

Anonymous said...

I think we need to secede from the County and incorporate Silver Spring as a city of it's own.

Erika said...

I went through what seemed like 60 comments and didn't read on. All in all, SS is our town and so I pose the question, what are we going to do TOGETHER to voice our concerns to those in leadership roles? While I like our discussion here, we need to come together and help create a meeting where these officials actually hear our thoughts and answer our questions. Our opinions are all over the place (some blaming lack of law enforcement, businesses in DTSS, loitering youth, etc.) but all in all, we need to come together to inform our elected officials about the result of their revitalization. How about we hold a meeting to plan a larger community meeting where we invite those officials at the library (near DTSS)? I know this takes some effort on our part but change for the better always does. I would be up for throwing that meeting together (venue, time, etc.). Would people be interested in attending? Anyone want to help start this going?

Cameron said...

http://unsuckdcmetro.blogspot.com/2010/07/jersey-shore-comes-to-bethesda.html

To all those who say violence/crime/etc don't happen in Rockville, Bethesda, etc...read that.

WHITE YOUNG ADULTS BRAWLING IN METRO! Oh the horrors of Silver Spring overshadow this though. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

As sad as this crime might be I am not shocked at all, I gave up on DTSS years ago. I no longer feel safe taking my seven year old daughter in the area since it appears to always be full of young inner city youth pulling at there genitals and smoking. I personally find the area to be disgusting and not family friendly.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, everyone needs to relax. I agree that there is an issue with kids running wild, which needs to stop immediately, but the police seem to have responded with increased activity. I'd even be in favor of a curfew for people younger than a certain age along with increased zero tolerance from police, so I'm really not a liberal "everyone hold hands and dance and crime will go away" type of person.

But in the meantime everyone needs to take a deep breath and calm down. In urban areas crime happens. That's a fact, pure and simple. It's the trade-off to be near restaurants and some nightlife. Happens in every urban area, whether within a big city or just outside of it like DTSS, Hoboken, Weehawken, Arlington etc. You absolutely can't let it get out of control, and this incident needed to be dealt with swiftly (um the kids involved were all caught and there was increased police activity right away, what else do you want?)and some tactics by police can be more aggressive - other than that you cannot do much. If it scares you, leave and live your life in a bubble, but for the love of all that is holy, stop whining.

Jon

Anonymous said...

Three years? Ha. I lived here almost my whole life. If you didn't know, Silver Spring in the 90s was pretty ghetto. This is nothing. I've heard of some instances where if you immediately cross the street just to avoid suspicious looking teenagers, then that just makes it worst. I think it's kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. You suspect teenagers to cause trouble, they'll pick up on it and do it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I just came up with another theory. The fact that so many people come to DTSS is the reason why so many teenagers come as well. Teenagers just like to show off around large crowds of people, which is why I always strongly disliked this whole revitalization thing (Damn large crowds of people). I don't remember ever being harassed by the drug-addicted hobos who slept in front of the Armory as a child. Mostly, they just left you alone. :D


So, you guys are the really problem! Ha.

Wait, actually, it isn't that bad, the revitalization increased the value of our home, so never mind!

Alex Smith said...

I really admire skateboarders and that's true! Its not easy to put yourself on skate unaware of the danger waiting ahead! and because of that reason visit www.boardemporium.com.

Joni Moawad said...

That's bad.

chenlina said...

chenlina20160229
michael kors outlet online
polo ralph lauren
cheap nfl jerseys
jordan 11 concord
cheap jordans
replica watches
oakley sunglasses cheap
ray ban sunglasses
cheap oakley sunglasses
uggs outlet
cheap uggs
canada goose outlet
mont blanc legend
cheap nfl jerseys
pandora jewelry
hollister
hollister shirts
uggs outlet
tods outlet online
michael kors outlet
abercrombie and fitch new york
michael kors handbags
celine handbags
cheap uggs
michael kors outlet
oakley sunglasses outlet
louis vuitton handbags
ugg outlet
the north face
ed hardy clothing
louis vuitton
louis vuitton outlet
beats by dr dre
coach outlet
cheap oakleys
air force 1
ray ban sunglasses
coach factory outlet
toms outlet
polo ralph lauren outlet
as

Zheng junxai5 said...

zhengjx20160402
michael kors
canada goose uk
coach outlet online
canada goose uk
toms outlet
fitflops shoes
louis vuitton borse
jimmy choo
reebok classic
mont blanc pens
cheap ray ban sunglasses
ralph lauren outlet
prada handbags
coach outlet online
coach outlet store online
toms shoes
canada goose jackets
vans outlet store
hollister clothing store
armani outlet
burberry outlet canada
ralph lauren
air max
christian louboutin shoes
ralph lauren
hermes outlet
cheap ray ban sunglasses
chi flat iron
calvin klein outlet stores
coach outlet store online
burberry outlet
michael kors handbags
longchamp uk
kate spade outlet
reebok
michael kors outlet canada
lululemon outlet store
rolex submariner
asics gel kayano
coach outlet store

Luke said...

The skateboard kids really could use a skateboard park.

As for the thugs that commit crimes and harass people, they too could use something to do with their free time this summer. They can build the skateboard park, under the watchful eyes of Silver Spring's finest.

Johnrace said...

Good post

Sm Mahabub said...

Nice info about longboards that you provided.I will suggest people to buy this board from here Best Longboards