Packs of Male Youths Running Unchecked

If you know these teens, they could use a strong male to help them realize their night activities are not beneficial to themselves or the community.

The onslaught has been nonstop at the Palisades Recreation Center and other local parks, even Temescal Gateway Park has suffered. Male youths, teens, have been setting off fireworks, vandalizing signs and bathrooms. Packs of youth have been running into CVS and trying to steal items.

A Huntington Palisades resident tried to stop teens from vandalizing the bathrooms by the tennis courts on Friday night around 8:30 p.m., and they shouted out “F U*igger” when he told them to stop.

“Coincidentally at that very moment a police car siren sounded nearby from about 300 feet away and they quickly ran away,” the resident reported on social media and added that “Since the canyon’s opening, there have been explosions almost every night and fireworks thrown at my 12-year-old son while he was in our backyard.”

CTN received this report from another Rec Center neighbor on December 16. “There have been explosions for four hours from 8 p.m. to midnight. This is the fourth night in seven days.

“Last night there were 10 kids on electric bikes. They enter on Alma Real and ride all over the Rec Center, around the lighted paths around the baseball diamonds. They throw explosives by Veteran’s Gardens and on the playground.”

On that Saturday, after the kids on the e-bikes left left the park, a teen in a Mercedes AMG with twin turbos drag raced around until midnight.

The resident told CTN and Palisades Senior Lead Office Brian Espin that Gates Patrol knows the kids, has told the parents and also turned the information over to the Los Angeles Police Department.

A security company is not allowed to make arrests but had told the resident that the kids have boasted about their expensive bikes ($5,000) and the explosions.

Espin said, “I will reach out to Gates Security to find out who the kids are and will definitely go and make a house call and speak with their parents.

“Our Patrol Officers are going into the park nightly, but when the Officers leave that is when the kids come out and start their nuisance activities,” Espin said. “It comes down to parents not allowing their kids to take out those bikes and check their backpacks before allowing them out at night. I still encourage conversations with neighbors who also might know the kids to educate the parents of what their kids might be involved in.”

Fireworks explosions are a frequent occurrence at the Palisades Rec Center.

Maybe the Palisades needs to take a lesson from Botswana. Over a period of three years, researchers examined 281 male elephants in an all-male area in Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. Researchers found that all of the adolescent elephants were more aggressive when fewer older males were present. They were more likely to be aggressive towards non-elephants such as vehicles, humans, livestock and other wildlife.

The adolescent elephants were considerably less aggressive towards non-elephants when in the presence of adult elephants. The research suggests that older adults are a social buffer against risk as they are more experienced and therefore have a more accurate understanding of threats. Even more so, this research teaches us that having older males present around younger adolescents can reduce the chances of extreme behavior and wildlife-elephant conflicts.

Parents need to ask their teens where they are going in the evening, and to check backpacks. The fireworks that are continually shot off are most likely being shipped to addresses in the Palisades – and unless kids have a job, parents are paying for them.

The parents of the identified kids should be required to volunteer to patrol the park. Police and security guards are not going to be able to solve this, but rather it has to come from dads. Men are extremely important in raising children. The Fatherless Generation, has complied statistics (click here), which include:

  1. Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use, truancy, and criminal activity compared to children who have uninvolved fathers.
  2. Studies on parent-child relationships and child wellbeing show that father love is an important factor in predicting the social, emotional, and cognitive development and functioning of children and young adults.
  3. About 24 million children (34 percent) live absent their biological father.
  4. Nearly 20 million children (27 percent) live in single-parent homes.
  5. About 43 percent of first marriages dissolve within fifteen years; about 60 percent of divorcing couples have children; and approximately one million children each year experience the divorce of their parents.
  6. Fathers who live with their children are more likely to have a close, enduring relationship with their children than those who do not.
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4 Responses to Packs of Male Youths Running Unchecked

  1. Huntington Resident says:

    Sue, it should not be placed onto residents’ shoulders to become nighttime vigilantes pursing aggressive teens on electric bikes going 30 mph, who also happen to be carrying lit explosions. The teens do not fear park neighbors who routinely approach and attempt to pursue them. We’ve been told LAPD has “undercover cops” in the park, and now Officer Espin’s latest excuse is that the activity only occurs once the police leave? How is that neighbors have no problem finding (and videotaping) these kids, but the police cannot? Additionally, while Officer Espin attempts to trivialize these kids’ actions as a “nuisance”, we should be clear that setting off explosions in a high fire zones and drag racing through city parks is criminal activity. Perhaps if LAPD took the nighttime lawlessness seriously and begin making arrests, these kids’ parents would take it seriously too?

  2. Michael says:

    When my godchild was in 2nd grade at Pali Elementary, he was being bullied, so his dad enrolled him in karate. A few months later, he beat up a 4th grader who was picking on him. My friend was called into the principal’s office and he told the principal that if his kid was no longer bullied, he would not beat up anyone else. Meanwhile, word quickly got around the school yard and my godchild never had another problem with bullying.

    These teens who are terrorizing the Huntingtons are bullies and cowards, as are their parents. This became apparent last Summer when their “friend” was injured by an explosive and they all ran off when they could have easily sought help a block away at Station 69.

    For the homeowner who replied, ” It should not be placed onto residents’ shoulders to become nighttime vigilantes pursing aggressive teens on electric bikes going 30 mph, who also happen to be carrying lit explosions(sic),” I agree, but I’m amazed that you are resigning yourself to being a victim. I’d suggest that you get 4 or 5 neighbors with sledge hammers and go do some serious damage to the $5,000 bikes when the kids are setting off fireworks. Start with the gears and proceed to the battery. Do not touch one of the kids. That could cause serious problems. There may be repercussions, but you all live in multimillion dollar homes, so I’m assuming you can afford to pay a little restitution and/or fine if it means getting your life back. Get creative. There are plenty of ways to handle this. Find out where the parents live and go cause some problems in their front yard. Stir up enough trouble to give Officer Espin a headache so that he’ll do something as opposed to paying you lip service and inviting you to coffee or one of his Q & A’s. Bullies need to realize that they are dealing with someone crazier than they are, then the true coward shows its face and you will be left alone. Wouldn’t this be better than sitting at home feeling miserable and helpless each night?

  3. Sarah says:

    I agree with Michael in that, as the old saying goes, the only way to deal with a bully is to punch them in the nose. Sadly, it’s usually the person defending themselves that gets hauled off to the office.
    Rather than risking a protracted legal problem by damaging the bikes, may I suggest that these neighbors buy a few heavy duty U locks and attach them to the bikes as the kids are off wilding? That would not only be effective but would also force some irresponsible parent to seek you out in order to get the key. Prepare for screaming, but calmly explain what you need from them (actual parenting). It’s a start…

  4. Eileen says:

    I like Sarah’s idea. And I wonder if anyone has recognized the kids in the photo and contacted the parents?

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