BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Police say a man was chased, beat up and carjacked outside a northwest Baltimore synagogue after dropping his child off at school Thursday morning.
According to Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, a car pinned the victim against his own vehicle and when he ran, suspects ran after him and took his keys.
The local civilian security group Shomrim has confirmed that the synagogue was Mercaz Torah U’Tefilla on Baythorne Road.
A group of four juveniles is being questioned by Baltimore County detectives in this case. One is just 10 years old.
So far in 2017, the northwest district leads the city in carjackings. Of those cases, among the ones that have been closed by Baltimore Police, 68 percent of the perpetrators have been juveniles, Davis said.
“We cannot continue to allow this behavior to keep occurring,” Councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer said. “It’s a small group of people… it’s the same people over and over and over that get arrested and they’re back out on the streets… how did they get to the point where they’re running around with ankle bracelets on, many of them, and still committing these offenses?”
Baltimore Police and Schleifer both spoke at a press conference Thursday afternoon, expressing frustration about the juvenile crime that has plagued the city in recent weeks.
There has been a spike of violent acts in the city that police believe have been committed by teenagers.
On Halloween night, police say groups of teens terrorized trick-or-treaters and used bats and boards to attack people. Similar events that evening were reported in Federal Hill, on Calvert Street downtown, and on Spring Lake Way in north Baltimore.
There have also been multiple attacks by groups of juveniles at the Inner Harbor recently.
“Poverty, unemployment, family dysfunctions, drug addictions — all those things are very, very real in our city, but they do not excuse violent behavior by anyone,” Davis said. “Particularly juveniles. We need to all look ourselves in the mirror as a community — parents, grandparents, guardians in particular — and get a hold of these violent kids who are wreaking havoc in our city right now.”
Davis gave an example of one 16-year-old in the city who has been arrested 10 times since June 2014, including for carjacking.
“We know who they are, and if we know who they are — and the reason why we know who they is because we lock them up again and again and again — then I’m pretty damn certain that their parents and guardians and grandparents and neighbors know who the hell they are, as well,” Davis went on to say. “Step up, step forward, get a hold of these violent kids. It’s absolutely unacceptable that I have to stand up here and talk about 13 and 14-year-olds that we have to arrest again and again because our criminal justice system and our society isn’t doing what we need to be doing with these kids.”