Police: Fed Hill Student Vandalism Represents Wider Problem

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Federal Hill residents have been terrorized, told to stay inside their homes, all because of teenage vandals.

It’s a reality in Federal Hill and police say this is a sign of a bigger problem within Baltimore City.

Neighbors say the problems with students from Digital Harbor High School are getting worse and they’re not backing down.

Neighbors around the high school say it happens almost every day. Mobs of teenagers taking over Grindall Street in Federal Hill.

Neighborhood surveillance cameras captured students fighting, screaming, vandalizing and kicking cars.

“It’s gotten worse and worse and worse,” said Stephen Varitikias, a Federal Hill resident.

Varitikias says he and his neighbors feel like prisoners in their own homes.

“We’re concerned for our safety, we’re concerned for our personal property. And we don’t want to live this way, and I don’t think we should.”

One student was even charged with assault, for throwing an umbrella at a woman last week.

Police say what’s happening is a sign of a city-wide issue that will only get worse as the weather gets warmer.

“We’re dealing with young people who act, in a way, a lot of the times, they act out because they’re with others,” said T. J. Smith of Baltimore police.

Groups of kids have caused issues time and time again. Just last month, Baltimore police arrested nine teenagers caught on video attacking a man downtown to steal his cell phone.

“We need parents to get a hold of their children who are acting out a lot of these crimes,” Smith said.

For now, Baltimore City schools will try to put a lid on it, by increasing police presence at dismissal times. In hopes of keeping kids out of trouble and put neighbors at ease.

“Absolutely I’m thinking of moving, and so are several of my neighbors,” Varitikias said.

Baltimore City schools released a statement to WJZ Wednesday saying they know who the kids are and will enact: “appropriate disciplinary consequences” based on the code of conduct.

Baltimore police are calling on parents to have a conversation with their children if they recognize them in the video.

More from Devin Bartolotta
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