The recent uproar over teen and young adult violence by blacks on the Plaza received the Mother of All Media Coverage, but it’s hardly a first. Pretty much everyone remembers the late night weekend struggles in Westport and at urban kid difficulties at four area movieplexes that the area has wrestled with off and the past 10 or so years.
AMC’s Ward Parkway Theater, for example, has struggled with kid crowds off and on for years.
How well, Ward Parkway neighbor Jeff Glazer knows…
“My home was vandalized a little over a year ago,” Glazer says. “The black kids congregated there at Ward Parkway after the movies – about 500 to 600 deep – and our neighborhood association complained and they put in a police officer there afterwards. Now that they put an officer there, they don’t let them congregate there anymore. They eliminated the problem – I give them credit.”
The reason the kids concentrated on Glazer’s block – directly east across the street from the mall?
“The catch is there’s a bus stop for the kids to get back to the inner city on the corner of like Wornall and 85th Street,” Glazer says. “So my block is a shortcut to there.”
The late night, post-movie kids scene went on for years.
“It’s scary, around 11:30 p.m. or midnight there were groups of kids walking by,” Glazer says. “One time my fiance came out to see why the dog was barking and five or six kids were swinging on our basketball goal. And she said, ‘Hey guys, don’t do that’ and one kid pulled his shirt up over his face and came up to the door and started mimicking her and mocking her with threatening gestures.’ “
That was just the tip of Glazer’s bad-kids-on-the block misadventures…
“I came home one night from work and they just pelted my house with rocks,” Glazer says. “They busted out five, maybe six of my windows – and knocked over my basketball goal.”
Why Glazer’s house?
“Probably because I let my dog out in the front yard and he barks when they walk by,” he says. “And I come home a lot late and they see me there and they’re like, ‘What are you looking at?’ You know, that thug mentality.
“My next door neighbor was mugged a few years ago. She’s a widow in her mid 70s and she packs a 38 now. She got beat up pretty bad for no reason.”
Didn’t help Glazer much.
Turns out that was merely the tip of Glazer’s bad kids on the block misadventures…