So, where exactly is Gerritsen Beach? That's what was going through my mind as I read a sensational story about boys being boys (GerritsenBeach.net via Gothamist) on Halloween. An idyllic nook of the city, perhaps, preserving bygone ways of waterfront life and maybe an impenetrable accent that even nearby Sheepshead Bay-ers can't understand?
Well, not so idyllic, it turns out. For these were boys being bad boys. It seems they were out "bombing," Brooklyn style on Sunday night, according to a community blog:
An older man in his late 60′s was driving along Gerritsen Avenue when his car was hit by eggs, when he exited the vehicle he was pelted by dozens of eggs, rocks were thrown, chucks of brick, and someone tossed a hammer. Parents and community members stepped in to protect this man and started to chase the kids to away.
As the Vollies were investigating a possible weed fire. Fire Chief John Czapp’s jeep was pelted and he was hit in the face with an egg. No police responded.
NO POLICE SHOWED UP TO RESPOND. Let’s let that sink in. After possibly dozens or more 911 calls over a two to three hour period NO ONE SHOWED UP.
If you thought the kids behavior was disgusting, the police behavior was incomprehensible.
What are "chucks of brick"? And who are the Vollies? I confess, I can't tell if these are typos or some sort of Gerritsen Beach argot. But it excites me, regardless.
Another confession: I too have participated in egg-throwing -- I was young, it wasn't right. My parents found out and were horrified. Much of Gerritsen Beach is also horrified, if not by the teen mayhem (vandalized MTA buses, etc), then by the public discussion of it.
One of the mothers of a supposed vandal had this to say on the GerritsenBeach.net comment thread:
This is Michaels Mom, YES I did let him go bombing like every other kid in GB! And YES I did tell him to have fun and watch oout for cops!This has been going on for yrs in GB. I allowed eggs and shaving cream. This DID NOT include rocks or potatoes! I am disgusted with this behavior myself and as soon as i heard what was going on I went and picked him up myself.
As far as parenting goes, I am sure no parents knew the extent of what was happening until it was too late. My son is in deep trouble but I am also aware he was not the only one. Remember your calling a 15yr old a dumb ass, arent you an adult??? Kids do stupid things BUT DONT YOU DARE PICK ON MY SON AND START NAME CALLING! I DID NOT CONDONE THIS BEHAVIOR!!
There is also a parallel, and equally serious concern with the terrible grammar practiced by many of the boys on their Facebook pages -- I can't help but wonder if bad online grammar will now become the official litmus test for delinquency. And that makes me worry for America.
At the very least, the NYPD is reportedly looking into the matter, finally, starting with Facebook.