A woman was assaulted by two female teenagers, and a group of teens tried to steal her phone and purse, while she was walking in the 3400 block of Dillon St. on Feb. 27.
According to police, the victim, who is 51 years old and speaks little English, was found crying by a resident on the 3400 block of Foster Ave. A Spanish-speaking police officer ascertained that she’d been assaulted.
The woman told police that at about 3:17 p.m., she was walking along the 3400 block of Dillon St. at Highland Ave. when she was approached by 8-10 black juveniles, who demanded her phone and her purse.
When she wouldn’t surrender them, a female suspect tried to take them from her, unsuccessfully. The victim reportedly told police that she fell to the ground during the struggle and was kicked, and struck in the mouth by her and another female.
At that point, a resident heard the commotion outside and opened the door to see what was happening.
One of the female suspects told the resident:“What the [expletive] you doing? Get back inside your house,” the report states.
It goes on to say that the resident made a comment regarding her child—ostensibly about the noise disturbing it—and the suspect said: “I don’t give a [expletive] about your baby.”
The resident called the police, who arrived at around 3:57 p.m. Earlier, at about 3:17 p.m., police had responded to a call regarding a “juvenile disturbance” at Highland Ave. and Dillon St., but did not see any juveniles in the area or anything out of the ordinary at that time, according to the report.
Paramedics arrived and treated the victim for a laceration to her lip.
A description of the suspects, who are all approximately 14-16 years of age, was broadcast, but police were not able to locate them.
They dispersed from the scene and were last seen traveling westbound on Dillon St., according to the victim.
Becky Edwards, a Canton resident who shared the incident on Facebook, says the victim was her housekeeper.
“She’s a sweet, hardworking woman who depends on that income and now she is afraid,” Edwards, a former school teacher, says.
Edwards says she sees groups of teens in the neighborhood behaving badly pretty frequently.
“It makes me sick. I feel threatened by them. You’ll be walking by them with your stroller and they’ll be using foul language, flinging their book bags, and being aggressive,” she says. “It’s very disconcerting.”
Edwards says this kind of behavior is a “sad indicator of the bigger issues our city has.”
She believes the behavior comes from a lack of positive role models and says vigilance is part of the solution—but so is supporting mentoring and volunteering with youth.
“The bottom line is these kids are still kids,” she says.
by Danielle Sweeney