New curfew to be enforced in small section of West Philly

August 9, 2011

A different kind of flash mob. Young people protest violence last summer in Love Park. Photo by Brad Gibson in The Notebook.

Young people on the streets in a small section of West Philly after 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturday could be picked up by police under new curfew regulations aimed at deterring “flash mobs” in the downtown area.

The new regulations temporarily move the curfew for youths under 18 years of age from midnight to 9 p.m. on those days in Center City and a small section of West Philly. The new curfew is part of a plan announced yesterday by Mayor Michael Nutter that includes a bolstered police presence and longer hours for neighborhood recreation centers. The curfew for the rest of the city remains the same (midnight for youths 13-18 and 10 p.m. for children under 13).

The curfew will be enforced with additional police presence in West Philly from Market Street to Baltimore Avenue and 38th Street to 43rd Street.

Nutter’s announcement comes a little over a week after roving gangs of young people severely injured pedestrians in Center City on July 29 (see video below). Among those arrested was an 11-year-old boy. Those attacks happened in the afternoon.

Fines of up to $300 will be levied against young people who violate the curfew. Parents could also be fined and even jailed if their children repeatedly violate the curfew.

District Attorney Seth Williams, who stood side-by-side with Nutter during yesterday’s announcement, said:

“We will be prosecuting these young criminals to the fullest extent of the law. There is no excuse for what they did, and they have brought great shame upon themselves and their families. Let this be a message to any others who think that participating in flash mobs is acceptable or fun — don’t do it. We will apprehend you, prosecute you, and send you away. You will not damage the reputation of our great City. And I will be working with our State Legislature and City Council to enact laws to hold those parents who permit their children to engage in this type of criminal conduct criminally accountable.”

The new curfew will last through the remainder of the summer and will be re-evaluated at the beginning of the school year.

The city has also authorized some 20 rec centers to extend hours until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

Centers in West Philly with extended hours include:

Myers Recreation Center • 5800 Kingsessing Avenue
Christy Recreation Center • 728 S. 55th Street
Kingsessing Recreation Center • 5000 Chester Avenue
Shepard Recreation Center • 5700 Haverford Avenue

Here is surveillance video of one July 29 attack (originally posted on MyFoxPhilly). Some of the boys in the video are still wearing their school uniforms.


Video: Philadelphia Teen Mob Attack:

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