BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Teens clash with tourists at the Inner Harbor. Now police and city leaders are stepping up patrols to ensure visitors are safe in the popular summer spot.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the show of force.
Police have significantly increased patrols at the harbor now that the weather is warmer. They will continue increased enforcement throughout the summer.
In a YouTube video posted over Memorial Day weekend, three teenagers describe to police how they were beaten by a mob of 40 teens on top of Federal Hill.
“They hit him multiple times going down the stairs. They came after me, started punching me, tried kicking me in the face,” they said.
Now there’s a show of force in the downtown area. The mayor and police commissioner walked the streets near the Inner Harbor to send a message.
“If people act up, we will bring them to justice and make sure that they get into custody,” said Commissioner Anthony Batts, Baltimore City Police Department.
With summer approaching, police are stepping up their presence across downtown.
“We want to make sure that everybody understands what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate and what the expectations are to enjoy the harbor,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Worries about downtown popped up in 2012, when a video of a tourist being beaten and robbed went viral.
Two years ago, city police beefed up patrols around the Inner Harbor and installed better camera technology downtown to keep tabs on the area. People say they have noticed a difference.
“Baltimore police doing their job around here,” said Jerron Johnson.
“There’s a lot of people and everybody’s very friendly,” another person said.
Leaders hope heightened security curbs clashes between teens and tourists.
City police will start handing out pamphlets with guidelines for behavior at the Inner Harbor.
The city has also enacted a new summer curfew, requiring children under the age of 14 to be home by 9 p.m. Teens ages 14 to 16 must be home by 11 p.m.
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