BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A husband and wife said they were attacked by a group of Baltimore’s so-called “squeegee kids,” and now they’re speaking out to WJZ, urging the mayor to take care of a problem they said has spiraled out of control.
The chilling encounter will haunt the Coles for years, they told WJZ.
“You shouldn’t have to drive through a city you love and care about and be scared,” said one of the victims, Courtney Coles.
A ride through downtown Baltimore quickly turned into a terrifying ordeal Jan. 11 when Courtney and her husband were approached by a group of squeegee-boys at Light and Lombard St.
“We have 3 children,” said Coles. “They don’t need to see this, they don’t need to be around this.”
When they told the group they didn’t want their car cleaned, they said someone started hitting the side of their vehicle, with their children inside.
That’s when Courtney’s husband confronted them.
“I got out and asked them why they did it and who hit my car,” said Jon Coles. “I asked them and said ‘I got my kids in the car, why would you do that?” They said ‘F’ me, ‘F’ my kids, and ‘F your wife.’”
Seconds later, the situation escalated even more for Jon.
“Got back in my car,” he said. “My window was down a bit, one of the kids came up, smacked inside my car with a squeegee and one of the pieces fell off, hit my wife, and bust her lip open.”
The Coles filed a report with police and went to city hall before eventually talking with the mayor.
“She told me she had to get most of the squeegee boys off the streets,” Jon said. “And those who are out there are actually men. They’re assaulting people, going after people, terrorizing the area of Baltimore.”
In November, the Downtown Partnership deployed staffers to monitor these interactions downtown.
The mayor, who has been an advocate for the squeegee boys in the past, released a statement saying in part that “this latest situation is outrageous and unacceptable in every sense. Our police are working to make sure they are held accountable. At the same time, we will be communicating accelerated efforts to deal with this threat to public safety.”
The Coles had enough of the talk and want the mayor to walk the walk.
“She’s gotta stick to her word and take care of it,” Jon said. “because her and Hogan have to get together and take care of it.”
“Scaring the tourists,” Courtney said. “scaring our citizens, it’s not okay.”
Just weeks ago, two suspects were arrested after police say they threw rocks and sprayed Windex at a driver who denied their services.