And Maurice Dubois reported in this CBS 2 investigation, the teen mobs have left neighborhoods worried as businesses take matters into their own hands.
Judson Bennett, 78, recently ran into a violent group of teens – often described with the once-benign term “flash mob” – as he made his daily trip to buy a newspaper at his favorite news team.
“I’m approaching the newsstand, and then suddenly there is a tremendous force behind me,” Bennett said.
Bennett ended up with a broken arm.
“I was taken completely by surprise,” he said.
In New York and across the country, the mobs of kids – 20, 30, 40 or more — appear out of nowhere and suddenly charge a newsstand or convenience store.
They ransack, steal and wreak havoc with no consideration for customers, such as Bennett, who get in their way.
“They assemble, they do whatever it is that they’re going to do, and then they disassemble in a matter of minutes,” said Jon Shane, assistant professor of criminal justice at John Jay College. “By the time somebody recognizes what is happening or is injured, if the police are able to respond, it’s slow.”