This weekend continued the scene where hundreds teenagers swarmed the North End streets, waterfront and parks. A concerned resident shares this eyewitness account:
“Every summer we deal with the horrible teenagers running through our neighborhood, but this summer has hit a high! Last night I witnessed hundreds upon hundreds of teenagers run away from police down my street. They are destructive, leave trash and broken glass everywhere. I had to call the police 4 times last night and saw officers drive down my street on motorcycles right past them and didn’t stop to check any one of them. This is unacceptable! We need foot patrols every Friday night on the waterfront, coPP’s hill, charter st and every st leading up from the waterfront. This happens every summer Friday night regardless if there is a feast or not.”
Police presence was high at this weekend’s Madonna Della Cava feast. BPD cars continued efforts to disperse the crowds of teens by flashing lights and having motorcycles patrol both the interior North End and surrounding waterfront along Commercial Street and Atlantic Avenue. Several residents said they are consistently calling 911 with some reports also showing up on 311.
“… the Mayor needs to know what is going on in the North End for the past two weekends. Over 150 teens hanging out and drinking at the Waterfront Park on Commercial St Police did arrive to move the teens along but as soon as the Police presence was gone they were back again this continued until 12:30 this morning. Not only at the park but running through the streets of the North End gangs of them. This is something that is very serious situation and needs to be addressed.” —311 report, 2 Atlantic Ave.
“Why don’t the police do something about the thousand teenagers loitering and drinking underage in the north end tonight? Residents cannot even walk down their own sidewalks. Would this be allowed on the mayor’s block?” — 311 report, intersection of Hanover & Commercial Streets
Reports of underage drinking and fights were also posted on social media. Last weekend, Boston Police and State Troopers formed a human wall and walked along Commercial Street between Causeway St. and the ball fields, toward Battery Street. A State Police helicopter was brought in and flew low over the crowds as dozens of police cars patrolled for several hours.
The Commercial Street areas around the skating rink, ball fields, wharves and Christopher Columbus Park have long been gathering places for teen crowds on feast / summer weekends. The situation continues to develop as the two largest festivals are set to be held starting next week with the 107th Fisherman’s Feast followed by the St. Anthony’s Feast which is the largest Italian festival in New England.
At Puopolo Field and Langone Park, the overhead lights are being left on by the Boston Parks Department with some interior lights on as well to illuminate the back of Steriti Skating Rink.
Boston Police District A-1 Captain Fong addressed a resident group this week and answered questions about what officials are doing in response to the surge. [See District A-1 Boston Police Address Teen Hordes, Homelessness, Feast Coverage and Noise Complaints]