Readers write

Readers write

November 11, 1990


From: Ted Neiman


It's Thursday, Nov. 1. Some of the residents of my neighborhood are outside picking up shards of broken glass from the road and from their front lawns. Some are repairing or replacing their mailboxes. Others are receiving insurance adjusters who are assessing the repair and cleaning costs for their homes that were caused by the smoke bombs that were exploded at their front doors the night before.

Was it a hurricane or an earthquake that hit our quiet neighborhood?

No, another Halloween had transpired.

For the little children, Halloween is an opportunity to dress up in costume and trick or treat -- it's lots of fun. For the parents, it's an opportunity to renew acquaintances with neighbors not seen often -- that's lots of fun.

For some of the local high school students, it's a chance to cause wanton malicious destruction of their neighbors' property -- I guess that that's lots of fun too.

I personally got the opportunity to witness a young man in a light colored sweatshirt use my driveway lights for batting practice. He destroyed them both with several swings of his bat, obviously meaning to practice for that home run that he always wanted. He left the pieces of broken glass and the demolished lights in front of my house with peals of laughter, running.

Getting the opportunity to follow him and his group down the street (since all I wanted was an autograph from someone with such hitting potential before he made it into the big leagues) I got to witness him smash another neighbor's mailbox with his bat, then run when I voiced my concern that this was not the place to practice baseball -- I guess he wasn't giving out autographs that night.

The Howard County police soon arrived and constantly patrolled the neighborhood since by this time hundreds of students were loitering around the streets, blowing off fire crackers and instilling a deep feeling of dread into the residents, most just hoping that these people would just go away.

Where would they go? They weren't transients from some inner city neighborhood, where disregard for a neighbor's person and property is usually the norm. They live right here.

It's sad; the youth of Howard County should be defending our streets, not destroying them.

Something has gone awry when the county fire department spokesman in the police log of this newspaper calls 12 fires set by people who can only be called arsonists, causing $1,000 worth of property damage, "pranks."

It's not only sad, it's frightening. The basic precepts of treating others as you would be treated yourself and some semblance for regard for other people's basic rights is demonstrably missing from a significant number of our local student population.

Their behavior this Halloween was disgusting. The schools and the parents have got to correct this situation now.

I look forward to meeting the gentleman who smashed out my lights; I would still like to get his autograph.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.