A neighborhood Wiffle ball game turned ugly yesterday after a group of teens attacked another group of young people in the Nottingham section of Ferndale.
Police said twin brothers Jeff and Wilmer Forloines, both 21, of Pampano Drive, were assaulted by a group of six or more youths at about 4:40 p.m. after an argument about who could play in the game.
Sgt. James R. Moore said county police have identified six teens in connection with the attack and expect to make arrests within the next few days. The six suspects, ages 15 to 18, are from the Glen Burnie area, police said.
Police said they have determined the incident was not racially motivated, although the suspects are black and the victims white, and believe it was prompted solely by the disagreement over the game.
Two neighborhood teen-agers, who asked not to be identified, said a group of youngsters, ages 10 to 21, regularly meet around 4:30 p.m. for an informal game of Wiffle ball at a nearby community field. The youngsters live on Tetra and Dolphin courts and Pampano Drive.
On Tuesday, a group of five 8-year-olds approached the group and asked to play, said one 18-year-old, who asked not to be identified. The group told the 8-year-olds they were too young to play.
The next day, one of the children who was not allowed to play returned and asked again to be admitted into the game. When members of the group again said no, they were approached by eight to 10 older youths, who said they were upset the younger boy had been excluded.
Two of the players were then hit several times in the face, the teens said. One was knocked unconscious. Police said they believe no weapons were used in the attack and that the injured teens were hit with hands and feet.
After the Forloines brothers were injured, the group fled, police said. One of the neighborhood boys called police.
Jeff Forloines was flown by helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he was treated and discharged Wednesday night, said spokesman Andy Trohanis.
His brother, Wilmer, was taken to North Arundel Hospital, where he was treated and released, a hospital spokesman said.
Although police say the incident was not racially motivated, at least one teen-ager involved said the possibility cannot be ruled out.
"I really don't know what caused it. There's definitely a chance [racism] was involved," he said. "It's a ridiculous thing for them to do, to come in here and hit people. I think they were just looking for a good reason for a fight."