Baltimore County police have increased patrols around a popular Towson nightclub for teen-agers because it attracts hundreds of patrons and might be connected to a few minor scuffles.
As many as 600 teen-agers converge on Generation Xtremes, in the 400 block of York Road, on Friday and Saturday nights to dance at what is billed as one the area's largest teen dance clubs.
Police said that although the crowd is generally well-behaved and the club is well-run, added officers will help ensure safety. The club, which caters to youths ages 14 to 18, does not serve alcohol.
"We are aware of the potential for problems up there," said Capt. Kathleen Meeks-Hall, commander of the Towson precinct.
Meeks-Hall said she has assigned at least eight officers to patrol the area near the club Friday and Saturday nights, with another dozen officers able to respond if they are needed.
Police arrested two teen-agers April 14 after they were accused of beating up two boys as they left the club. Another fight involving teen-agers occurred near the club on April 13. No arrests were made in that incident, Meeks-Hall said.
But the father of one of the juveniles involved in the April 14 incident questions whether police and club owners are doing enough to keep the teen-agers safe.
"As a parent, we had thought our kids were going to a safe place, and it is clearly not a safe place anymore," said Jeffrey Rubin of Columbia. "I think parents need to be aware of it."
Rubin said his son, Benjamin, 14, was "jumped" for no reason as he left the club. He was not seriously injured.
Carl Yungman, the club's owner, said it is not fair to blame him for incidents that did not take place inside the club.
"This area of Towson is swarming with people," he said. "We run a very tight operation here."
Generation Xtremes opened about a year ago as "a safe and secure place that teens can socialize," Yungman said. He said his club remains secure and relatively trouble-free.
"This is not some drug-crazed haven. This is not some violent roadhouse," Yungman said.
All patrons are searched before entering the club and monitored by more than a dozen adult chaperones who patrol inside the club. The club is also in the process of hiring off-duty police officers as security.
Meeks-Hall said there is no evidence of drugs or underage drinking at the club.
"Overall, it is just a dance club," she said.