Hey, there! Log in / Register

A girl gets bleach thrown in her face; now Mattapan roller rink is in hot water

An angry city licensing head today ordered the Chez Vous roller rink to work with police on a new security plan, after hearing details of a Feb. 12 incident in which a group of 14- and 15-year-old girls coming out of the rink threw bleach at another 14-year old girl during a melee on Blue Hill Avenue that left her with bleach in her eye.

"This is unconscionable," Christine Pulgini told rink officials at a hearing this morning. She told them they need to come up with a better, safer way to disperse kids after a night of skating, "so no other mother gets a phone call like that in the middle of the night" - that her child is being rushed to Children's Hospital or Mass. Eye and Ear because she's had bleach thrown in her eye.

Because should something like that happen again, Pulgini warned, she would cut the rink's hours or take even more drastic action, "so help me God."

B-3 Sgt. Thomas Brooks testified before Pulgini - in her role as director of consumer affairs and licensing - that when the rink let out for the night around midnight and hundreds of teens streamed out, the result was a chaotic scene in which Blue Hill Avenue was shut as it filled up with milling kids. And then, he said, three girls - all either 14 or 15 - jumped another girl, 14, and threw the bleach at her.

Brooks said that as pretty much every officer in B-3 tried to break up the crowds and restore order - and make way for the ambulance for the teen - he found himself confronted inside Chez Vous by one rink manager who demanded he leave immediately and who told him he had no right to be there without "a police report," which Brooks said he told the man would be impossible to produce since the incident for which he'd write a report was still going on outside right that very second.

Brooks said matters were not helped by what he said was a complete absence of any rink security officers outside the club helping to move kids along.

At the hearing, club manager Vincent Best said he had four security officers working outside.

"My testimony, on the right hand of God, I didn't see a single staff (person) out there," Brooks responded, adding the rink should consider dressing its guards in orange vests or somehow otherwise marking them clearly as security.

Best agreed to work with B-3 on figuring out how to send kids home safely. He said it can be tough to get help from police when the rink closes around midnight because that's when BPD has its shift change.

And he said it's unfair to blame the rink for something that happens on Blue Hill Avenue, rather than inside it or even just outside it. He said the bleach attack was so disturbing he couldn't get to sleep for several nights after the incident.

Both Pulgini and Brooks acknowledged that Chez Vous can't directly control what happens a block away.

Brooks said he wants to work with the rink, and would order an officer held over, if need be, to help with an orderly closing. "We're neighbors," Brooks told Best and another club manager. "We want to work with you."

But, Pulgini said, the rink can't simply absolve itself of responsibility when several hundred young customers flood out at once. The rink has a responsibility to them - and their parents - to not simply unleash them into a situation where they face a beating or a dousing with a dangerous chemical.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

hold the Celtics, Bruins, and Red Sox responsible for all the drunken mayhem that pours out their doors hundreds of times a year? Suspend their liquor licences! Make em hire more cops! Fine em!

Somehow I think this will never happen

up
Voting closed 0

They came up, repeatedly, in another hearing, about some issues at House of Blues. Will be writing that hearing up this evening.

up
Voting closed 0

children being blinded.

up
Voting closed 0

I used to work in Faneuil Hall on Fridays and Saturdays when bars let out. We had numerous fights, stabbings, twice shots were fired, car accidents from drunk driving, angry cab drivers fighting over fares, public urination and defecation, robberies, a guy who got thrown into a wall resulting in a compound fracture to his tibia (saw it, it was disgusting), and plenty of property damage. All of which could happen in a single night. Yeah, teenagers chucking bleach at other teenagers is an absolutely despicable act, but don't try and act like drunken adults are harmless.

up
Voting closed 0

you're describing the acts of shitfaced adults not children leaving a roller skating rink. Please explain the correlation to adults?

up
Voting closed 0

Who says that enraged teens can't do as much harm to others as drunken, enraged adults? This latest event, with the girl getting bleach thrown into her eyes and nearly blinded by another teenaged girl is definite proof that teenagers, as well as adults, are capable of doing a lot of harm to others when they're out of control.

Here's hoping that the victim is okay, and not permanently blinded as a result of such a vicious incident.

Also, since cities throughout the United States (and throughout the world, for that matter) have a long history of teenage urban gang warfare, with plenty of people getting badly beat up. stabbed, etc., that's also proof that teenagers can also do a great deal of harm, not only to themselves, but to others, as well.

Sometimes, jittery and unstable teenagers can be even more dangerous, due to the fact that they're often so nervous that they're not able to control themselves, either.

up
Voting closed 0

Also, since cities throughout the United States (and throughout the world, for that matter) have a long history of teenage urban gang warfare

Like, Sharks vs. Jets sorta stuff?

up
Voting closed 0

white kids....

up
Voting closed 0

Why?

Sure, I still love that film, and at the rate i'm going, I always will, but I didn't bring it up here on this post.

up
Voting closed 0

This is why I cheer against the local sports teams.

thank god the patriots didn't make the superbowl and thank god the bruins missed the playoffs. think of all the quality of life issues we would have in the city if they made it.

Go Broncos! Go Penguins!

up
Voting closed 0

Can you recommend a good knitting circle?

up
Voting closed 0

You haven't been around *my* knitting circle. We *are* a barrel of laughs. ;-)

AND I root for the local teams. 'Cause we rock.

up
Voting closed 0

Apparently, that angry city licensing head isn't nearly as angry as our youth!

up
Voting closed 0

I see much hasn't changed since I was a youth skating there on Saturday nights. Security has always been a issue and I don't know why they don't have a police detail at the let out since it's directly across the street from B3.

up
Voting closed 0

" that when the rink let out for the night around midnight and hundreds of teens streamed out, the result was a chaotic scene in which Blue Hill Avenue was shut as it filled up with milling kids"

Maybe the kid should sue the idiot at City Hall who decided that an arbitrary closing time is in everybody's best interest.

See also: 2am.

up
Voting closed 0

"Because should something like that happen again, Pulgini warned, she would cut the rink's hours or take even more drastic action, "so help me God."

She's totally serious, you guys.

"And then, he said, three girls - all either 14 or 15 - jumped another girl, 14, and threw the bleach at her."

What's the point of breeding kids if you can't get them raised correctly? Swirly's kids wouldn't do this.

"Brooks said that as pretty much every officer in B-3 tried to dispel the crowds and restore order - and make way for the ambulance for the teen - he found himself confronted inside Chez Vous by one rink manager who demanded he leave immediately and who told him he had no right to be there without "a police report,"

Sounds like it's not the manager's first rodeo.

""My testimony, on the right hand of God, I didn't see a single staff (person) out there," Brooks responded, adding the rink should consider dressing its guards in orange vests or somehow otherwise marking them clearly as security."

Well no kidding. Maybe if their security made cop money, they'd venture into bleach fights. Markets work.

"Best agreed to work with B-3 on figuring out how to send kids home safely."

That's not his job. How about somebody either get off their ass and parent, or put the kids up for adoption? What's the point of doing anything if you're not going to do it well?

"Both Pulgini and Brooks acknowledged that Chez Vous can't directly control what happens a block away."

Wait, they admitted that on the record? No (expletive) way! Hey, Dennis Quilty, I'm going to start taking your clients. I'll charge them half your rate and simply show up and cite this quoted precedent when defending bars.

"We're neighbors," Brooks told Best and another club manager. "We want to work with you."

Well, it's nice to hear that in theory. Let's see that in practice.

"The rink has a responsibility to them - and their parents"

You know who else has a responsibility to a 14-year old? HER (EXPLETIVE) PARENTS. 14 was around the age I started visiting friends past midnight, but my friends didn't live in an impoverished violent neighborhood. Maybe consider that next time you let your rugrats run off to the roller rink.

And how about 7 days in jail for each assailant while we're at it?

up
Voting closed 0

instead of continuing to support a bureauracy whose sole mission appears to be looking for excuses to punish businesses for the actions of individuals. And just giving the assailants a slap on the wrist, a suspended sentence, and a sealed record because 'oh they're juveniles' is not an appropriate response to deliberate assault.

Unless people have become stupid enough to somehow believe that splashing bleach into a person's face is a normal juvenile prank and/or was somehow 'accidental'.

up
Voting closed 0

Just because the licensing board (well, technically, in this case, the Mayor's Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing) holds a hearing on whether the venue could/should have done something to stop this doesn't mean that police do absolutely nothing about the criminals/delinquents involved in the case.

Nobody's arguing throwing bleach in a girl's face is a harmless prank.

That I happen to write about licensing hearings a lot, because all I have to do is sit in a room in City Hall for a couple of hours with a pen and some paper, is no reflection on what BPD is doing. Who's on First or Roggie's are good examples of that - licensing hearings AND arrests.

up
Voting closed 0

I do appreciate and respect the amount of time and effort take attending and reporting on Licensing Board hearings, and I didn't mean to demean this good work by my previous comment.

Forgive me for being cynical in my views towards the Licensing Board, but I'm still trying to make some sense of a system whereby the Board's knee-jerk reaction to events that happen on public streets almost automatically seems to be a presumption that the establishment was somehow responsible for contributing to the event in some way. Not to mention the fact that EVERY such event seems to trigger an automatic public hearing, even if the evidence clearly indicates the establishment had no involvement.

And your point about strawmen is duly noted.

up
Voting closed 0

This has been an on going problem. I agree it's not just Roller Skating Rink's problem, it's the community problems, including Law Enforcement i.e. BPD, State Police and MBTA since our children affter the rink's dismissal cross into each of these law enforcement's areas of control.

At one the MBTA had provided dedicated buses to move the young people out of the area. The MBTA Police Department would have uniform officer in the area, on the buses and following the bues. the police would professionally and not overly aggressively move the young onto the buses and out the area and with out arrest. The State Police have never been a factor, however they should be since, if I'm not mistaking Morton St is their area of patrol; sometimes Law Enforcement present is a positive deterrent.

I feel Area B-3 should a direct camera feed into the rink and area the rink.
I feel Streetworkers of Boston should be present for the duration of the event, at the city's exspense.
I feel all the area merchants should have cameras installed on their buiness supplement by the city.
I feel Boston EMS should have a unit present during dismissal.
Everyone above is being passive and non aggressive.

This is a workable problem with solutions.

We ask our young people to find positive things to do and a great many of their go to the roller rink to have positive fun, like any venue where the population is big, the bad elements show up to. mostly blending in with the good kids.

up
Voting closed 0

Every roller rink I have been to, in every state, has a "negative element" that seems to attract kids whose parents have been MIA since birth.

The way to fix this is not buses with a police escort. The way to fix this is to keep your good kid away from any place where large groups of teens congregate. If they must go, have it be a focused activity (a standalone movie theatre, for example) with dropoff and pickup times that do not allow for horseplay.

Those of us who made it to adulthood without having been involved in riots and rumpuses were raised this way. Our parents did not expect someone to raise us for them. They kept us away from the bad element, and did not expect a community solution for it.

up
Voting closed 0

You can't keep your kids locked up until they're 18, can you? It seems important to gradually give them some independence so they can learn how to act responsibly.

I don't have all the answers, and my kids are still some years from this point. But I think they need to have more independence than being dropped off at a movie and picked up when it ends. You want them to have some degree of autonomy before you drop them off at college.

up
Voting closed 0

But you can also decide WHERE they can have that autonomy, and making it very clear that going to places When and Where The Bad Kids Congregate is against house rules and will result in loss of privileges.

Teaching teens the importance of identifying and avoiding potential bad situations is important in teaching them how to grow up. Certainly, I can't avoid all "potential bad situations" because, frankly, I'm a tiny female and I'm not about to stay locked in my house from dusk to dawn hiding from the boogeyman, but I can be mindful of what I can do to mitigate my own risk of being victimized, by identifying situations and locations where I might be at risk in advance and making a point of being extra alert and prepared to respond to signs that a bad situation that might arise while I am there. This is part of being responsible, and it's a skill that lets you have a lot of freedom to travel the world.

up
Voting closed 0

The MBTA should provide extra buses with a police officer on board and the kids will get home safely.

up
Voting closed 0

What kind of parents are cool with their 14 year old being unsupervised at a roller rink until 2am?

up
Voting closed 0

But try midnight, which is when the place closes, not 2 a.m.

up
Voting closed 0

is really any better. Hmmm.

up
Voting closed 0

In some cases, yes, it could be fine.

up
Voting closed 0

because during the wee hours of the morning (i. e. between 1 and 5 a. m.), is when the most crime and violence takes place.

up
Voting closed 0