'Migrant Influencer' Arrested

Most days, when I scan the headlines from Baltimore, they are fairly repetitive. There are always a certain number of carjackings, shootings, and assaults. It’s gotten to the point where I rarely bother to click and read the details unless something really spectacular takes place. But one headline this week almost stopped me in my tracks. Yes, it was about an attempted robbery and assault, which is typically just another day ending in a “Y” in Charm City. But in this case, the suspect that they arrested was a 12-year-old boy. He and a group of friends attacked two men who were riding a “moto pad” (whatever those are), assaulting the riders and attempting to rob them. They were caught on a security camera and the police managed to apprehend the ringleaders a short time later. (CBS Baltimore)

A 12-year-old has been arrested for assault and attempted robbery at the Inner Harbor on Tuesday.

Baltimore City Police confirmed that around 8:00 pm on Tuesday night, officers responded to an assault call on the 200 block of Light Street.

After investigation, officers revealed that the two men were riding on a moto pad on 301 Light Street when they were attacked by a group of juveniles.

The group threw rocks, plant pots, metal objects, and glass bottles, causing the two on the moto pad to crash.

When the police described the incident as an “attack” they were being serious. This wasn’t child’s play. The kids were hurling rocks, bottles, scrap metal, and planting pots at the men’s heads. One of the men had to be taken to the hospital with (thankfully) non-life-threatening injuries. And this wasn’t just two or three kids. This was literally a gang and they attacked violently.

The main culprit was taken to juvenile detention, meaning that he’s probably already been released or will be shortly. Even with recent changes to Baltimore’s laws regarding the handling of juvenile defendants, assault and attempted theft isn’t going to be enough to put him away for any serious amount of time. We’ll be lucky if they even enter the kid’s name in the system so he can be monitored for repeat offenses.

What we’re looking at here is a case of societal failure. Even if that boy has a father living in the home (the odds are low in that part of the city), where were the parents while all of this was going on? Where were the parents of the rest of the kids? Without any serious punishment, that boy won’t take any lessons away from this other than the realization that he can get away with pretty much anything, at least until he literally kills someone. This has become a generational problem. One study after another has revealed that the vast majority of teens who wind up in gangs grew up in homes where parents or other relatives were involved in gang activity. The police were always seen as the enemy. Little emphasis was placed on school and the idea of growing up, getting an education, and beginning a career was something that happens to “other people.”

I know that there are civic groups trying to work with the community to reach out to families like these and I can appreciate their efforts. The Baltimore Police do the best they can with the resources that are available. But it’s just not working. Someone needs to come up with some fresh ideas and renew the focus on these challenges because we are losing an entire generation of young people. It hasn’t always been this way and it didn’t have to be this way today. Yet here we are.

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