kids throwing rocks on ELB
Tonight around 7:10pm, I was cruising along at a very brisk pace on east liberty blvd toward negley, when rocks were thrown at my head by kids between north st claire and mellon streets. I stopped as quickly as i could without flipping over the front of my bike, and by the time i turned around and shined my light toward them, they were laughing and taking off. I don’t know where they went but i screamed at them. I stood around for a few minutes. I spotted another cyclist at a nearby intersection and asked if he saw any kids. All he could say when i told him about rocks getting thrown at my head was “yeah, that happens to me on north st claire street. well how big were the rocks? they were just little stones, right?” Yeah little stones that nearly hit me right in the eye (i usually wear eye protection but my glasses are broken).. enough to blind me. So just be careful.
Kids threw rocks at a Flock Ride on Betty St (next to Peabody or whatever it’s called now?)
I stopped and did the same, with a similar result when it happened then; that was probably a year or two ago?
I was thinking about leaving copies of a note on the doors of houses on and around that block letting the homeowners know that someone’s kids were doing something potentially dangerous. I think the kids may have gone inside a house to hide, so maybe some adult may care and have a conversation with their kids about their behavior. Though I am too jaded to take any action because I feel like it would be a waste of time.
Some kids punched a cyclist in the face in front of Peabody a few years back. That area isn’t a very good spot, so people do need to be careful. Lets face it, we are in traffic on two wheels and some rock hits you in the head, it can be death. Best to know about these things and either avoid that area or be pretty cautious.
I’ve been hit by kids throwing stones and I have the scars to prove it. To some extent, it just seems to be one of those things that little snots do as they don’t think about the consequences… I don’t mean the consequences of getting in trouble, I mean the fact that someone might end up sitting in an ER waiting for stitches (or worse).
The worst incident, for me, involved moving at about 40mph on a dirt-bike and wearing an open-faced helmet… I took one right above the eye. I think I’m like a magnet for this shit, as I have three different rock related scars from three different incidences. I’m three for four, getting hit by stones when thrown at me.
If I felt it was possible, I’d absolutely run the child down and hold him until I determine his identity. I’d probably also kidnap him and take him hog-tied and gagged to the ER to see what the end result of stupid actions is. It might work out to track down the parents, but from my experience… the type of kid that likes to throw stones tends to belong to the type of parents that don’t give a fuck.
@drewbacca on parents
I’ve worked with kids that went to Peabody and uh, yeah
If you hear the way some parents interact with their kids, you can quickly see why they might already have a chip on their shoulder
The area could definitely use some more love
If there are other areas this happens please post it. Are there other areas this happens? Is it frequent? Maybe reporting it to the cops would be a good idea. They don’t like rock throwing and I suspect they would take that pretty seriously since death can come from it. One rock to the head and you swerve into a car’s path and boom. Not a good situation to say the least.
for those who insist on going through there, be alert. i have only had a few problems in this area and they were all middle-school to high-school aged kids being idiots, but there was a person who had their collarbone broken from kids running out at them right near peabody and countless other incidents since the bike lanes were painted. i highly recommend to turn off your front headlight through there and avoid the “delinquent kid moth effect”. just be aware that you might be less visible from the front to cars and ride accordingly.
Maybe this is just me being a Quaker, but I wonder if there’s some alternative to stealth or trying to get the kids in trouble with the law. Something like community outreach, or telling the kids about FreeRide, something like that. I’m guessing these kids are just hanging out together bored and trying to think of something to do, and they end up picking on cyclists because they’re available. If we could somehow present them with some alternative, maybe riding bikes of their own, I bet they’d stop.
I think this would be worth reporting to Zone 5 police. There are bike cops who patrol this area and if they knew what blocks/times were peak harassment hours (um, after school and after dinner but before prime time?), they might patrol more. In my experience, because they work more like beat cops, they’d probably have a better sense of whose/which kids were the culprits and could intervene with a warning rather than send the kids down the prison pipeline.
Agreed, the kids need love, parenting, meals, bikes &tc, however there’s no reason to put up with getting pelted by rocks until that happens. It is dangerous, not to mention cruel. If they were yelling nasty epithets, that’s one thing. Throwing objects is quite another.
@jonawebb, the flaw in your reasoning is that you believe they actually put thought into this. What it really comes down to is gang-mentality and one-ups-men-ship. I’m guilty of plenty of dumb adolescent behavior simply for the sake of approval from my peers (which is funny, since I always thought of myself as a rebel at that age).
Find an outlet for that, which doesn’t involve throwing stones at strangers, and you may be onto something…
But, there is still the underlying issue where they feel it is “OK” to potentially harm another human being for laughs. There is something much deeper going on there, than any simple alternative will ever solve. At best, we can manipulate them into being somewhere else where they don’t present a potential risk to cyclists.
Reporting the incident(s) makes a difference. The police will pay attention, at least for a while. It’d be nice to be able to solve the underlying problems, but when we’re riding down the ELB, we’re just bikers. And we’re entitled to protection.
@drewbacca I definitely don’t think any thought was involved — I think it’s just boredom, showing off, etc., which is what I think you think. I’m just wondering if there’s a way to get them to do something else that isn’t so destructive.
@Drewbacca “But, there is still the underlying issue where they feel it is “OK” to potentially harm another human being for laughs. There is something much deeper going on there, than any simple alternative will ever solve.”
I just remembered that when I was in 3rd/4th? grade some friends of mine threw rocks at Amish people. (I don’t recall if I participated or not.) I don’t think I put harming other people together with throwing the rocks.
We threw rocks at each other on occasion too
@jonawebb “I’m just wondering if there’s a way to get them to do something else that isn’t so destructive.”
Your ideas are sound, but who is going to put them into practice? We always talk about more community focused solutions when these issues crop up, but then nothing is done or thought of until the issues crop up again.
I think FreeRide has worked with some groups in that area, but I’m sure there’s still a huge amount of work to be done
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