BALTIMORE COUNTY (WJZ) — A weekend disturbance at White Marsh Mall could result in long-lasting changes after a group of teens allegedly got out of control Saturday.
Councilwoman Cathy Bevins said she wants a new curfew for Saturday and Sunday evenings. For a minor, trying to shop without an adult on Friday or Saturday evening could, access to the mall would be denied.
“These venues are not babysitters. You shouldn’t be dropping your children off and not coming back for three or four hours unless they are attending a movie or have a meal. They just shouldn’t be wandering. We’re talking 14, 15, 16-year-olds,” Bevins said.
Baltimore County Police said nearly 40 officers were dispatched to control a large group of unruly teens after a fight in a bathroom.
7 minors and two 19-year-olds were arrested on charges including disorderly conduct.
Towson Town Center and the Avenue already have curfews. Towson Town Center’s curfew states that those 17 and younger not accompanied by an adult must leave by 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings. The Avenue requires anyone under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian 21-year-old or older after 9 p.m.
This may not be so popular with teens.
“I’m responsible enough to know what I should and shouldn’t do,” Ashley Hurte, a Baltimore County resident said.
But parents are on board.
“I think it would be good for the youth though, stay out of trouble,” Deandre Patterson, a Baltimore County resident said.
“Start a curfew just like Towson,” Steve Chapman, a Baltimore County resident said. “That’s the only way you’re going to stop all the trouble.”
Because many of these teens are not old enough to drive, the councilwoman is also reexamining one of their main sources of transportation, MTA buses.
In a letter to the agency, Bevins strongly suggested buses stop at 11 p.m. instead of 1:30 a.m.
She also said she believes more frequent pick-ups will force minors to go home.
“My concern is my constituents and when I have people who say ‘I don’t feel safe and what are you going to do about it,’ then I have to try figuring it out,” Bevins said.
The company that owns Towson Town Center also owns White Marsh Mall. WJZ contacted them to see if a curfew change is being considered and has not received a response yet. Baltimore County Police said it took officers more than an hour to get the scene under control.