Baristanet got a tip today, still unconfirmed, of a vicious attack on the street in front of Montclair’s Bellevue Theater around 7:15 Saturday night. According to our tipster, who saw the incident and asked not to be named, the attackers were teens. The witness said one victim was kicked in the ribs and another pushed facedown into the street.

Police have not yet returned our call. The mayor told us by e-mail that he would look into the incident.

43 replies on “Saturday Night Fight”

  1. Perhaps through Barista, confirmation can be obtained. I don’t believe anyone was slandered here and are we not able to discern this posting as being speculative?

  2. What I have learned is that 4-5 teens “knocked down” another teen. No one injured or struck and no one required or requested medical attention. No charges pressed and no one was arrested although the 4-5 kids were rounded up and subsequently released to their parents.

  3. If this happened in Bloomfield, it’d be blamed on BHS illegals or Barringer.
    Thanks for the Cream reunion tip, Iceman!

  4. That’s it. Reports of teens knocking other teens down. And probably using foul language also. I won’t live in such a community. I’m outtahere.

  5. The victims were also teens. All are MHS students. The kid who got jumped first made the mistake of responding to verbal taunts from the little guy in the attacking group. The other kid was hit when going to his friend’s aid. Two kids were taken into custody – the first kid who was attacked & his friend who flagged down the police. As far as I am aware, the attackers were permitted to walk away. This is the third such attack by this particular group of kids that I am aware of.

  6. when we say “kids”…don’t we really mean teenage boys?
    teenage girls may bicker and fight in their own ways, but rarely do they get physical.

  7. Compared to where I grew up — Long Island, not the middle of Kansas — there are many things to in Montclair for teens. The town I grew up in (about equally affluent) had (1) no movie theaters; (2) no YMCA; (3) no theater group; (4) no coffee shop to hang in (this was pre-Starbucks). I could go on. There are a ton of things for kids to do in this town. Some of them, like boys everywhere, would rather wander around, try to get beer, have a little smoke, yell at girls, hassle people, punch someone, etc. Having a parent who is keeping an eye on who your with and what you are doing is the key. But it’s always a lot easier to blame the usual suspects (video games, music, Terrell Owens, liberals soft on crime, conservatives who underfund social programs, beer commercials, etc.)

  8. In the future I hope that BARISTA would confirm a “tip” before it reports a feature about alleged incidents in the Greater Baristaville.
    I’d hate to see Barista turn into a NY Post or National Inquirer type of publication.
    Let’s maintain standards and integrity in our community coverage.
    In general, thanks for a job well done -I always write your postings right after my cup of coffee and the NY Times.

  9. (from above Greg Spinelli: “This is the third such attack by this particular group of kids that I am aware of.”

  10. Where are the PARENTS? They should have all been brought down to the station and released into their parents care and the incident documented. Not allowed to walk away.
    What if one of the youths fell and hit their head-or gone through a plate
    glass window. Yes, I know it was not the case but it could have been.
    Address the loitering, address the lack of parental commitment and screw the politics because that’s what it comes down to. Where are the Parents?
    And what does the lack of action actually say to these kids- that there are no consequences for their actions?
    Don’t tell me kids are kids-these are the same kids that were allowed to run around the restaurants and later in life, they will be the ones at the Giants games who throw the punches and bottles into crowds or worse.
    When I was 17 a friend of mine threw a punch and it was in a parking lot.
    The other kid went down and hit his head on one of those parking guards and died. Things happen, and unfortunately for my friend the incident was the beginning of his undoing.
    That moment, that one lunatic mistake cost a kid his life and altered my “friend”. And many lives were also altered as a consequence.

  11. From yesterday’s POST:
    Where can I get one of these gadgets?
    November 28, 2005 — Hey kids, buzz off!
    A British man has come up with a gizmo that emits a high-pitched noise intended to chase away teens — and teens alone.
    Howard Stapleton, the creator of the “Mosquito,” a speaker-like device, says he’s toyed with the idea for many years.
    At age 12, when his father was chairman of the British Eveready battery company, Stapleton had to leave a factory’s welding room after hearing a “horrendous” ultrasonic sound that he could hear but none of the adults could.
    Stapleton thought to advance the idea a few months ago after watching groups of thuggish teens linger outside Welsh convenience shops.
    “It’s a big problem in the U.K. The fashion of the moment is hoodies [hooded sweatshirts],” said Stapleton. “It’s like meeting masked men . . . You can’t interpret their intentions.”
    Stapleton’s patent pending invention √¢‚Ǩ‚Äù which he says delivers an auditory punch that teens can’t stand √¢‚Ǩ‚Äù has already generated interest from police, community councils and railway operating companies, he said.
    Teens normally say, “What’s that noise? It’s doing my head in,” said Stapleton, adding that most adolescents end up fleeing within five minutes.

  12. Mr. Remsen says the offending youths were “rounded up and subsequently released to their parents.” Mr. Spinelli says “the attackers were permitted to walk away.” Which version of the events is true? Barista will surely get to the bottom of it, as some of her posters are spinning off on the latter version.

  13. If it wasn’t this incident it was a hundred others-whether Montclair, Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, you name the town–
    If it wasn’t this past Saturday it was the Saturday before-
    Ride through the towns-it is the system and one that is failing our youth. It is the disentigration of family life and inaction is the standard.
    Watch as they drop their children off at a corner (not at someone’s house not at the movies, at the corner) to roam the town after dark, unchaperoned with cash and a cell phone. These are not kids in cars these are 14 and 15 year olds and some even younger.
    Tell me if you remember what worldly wisdom did you have at that age?

  14. “Tell me if you remember what worldly wisdom did you have at that age?”
    I had none. If I knew then what I know now……
    I grew up in Montclair and as a teen there was very little to do. Movies were expensive, coffeehouse meant Charlie Browns to sit and smoke, ordering coffee and tipping what little we could afford. We had this dream that once we got a drivers license the world would be our oyster – but then you’re under 21 and that becomes the new goal.
    Thre was one group of kids who decided that as long as there was a central place to meet up and hang it would catch on, and become the place. So they started to hang out at the bank on Midland Ave. and Clairmont Ave. It worked for a few days until the police told them they couldn’t sit on the bank lawn anymore.

  15. My daughter saw this incident and was SICKENED by the brutality of the attack. She saw a boy thrown onto Bellevue Avenue and punched repeatedly while laying in the middle of the street. They both could have been run over by a car or bus.There were 2 Attackers and approx 7 other teens. One tried to stop the attack and was hurt. Others ran down toward Valley Road to summon aid. The two attackers ran through Upper Montclair Plaza and were found by Montclair Police in front of the A&P. FIVE Police cars showed up there were so many calls for help.
    My daughter was agast that the Police took the injured teen in their car and did not summon an ambulance as this Teen was beaten and kicked pretty hard.
    These are the facts, I think Remson is trying to put a lid on this. This is the second incident I have heard of in recent weeks in Upper Montclair where Teens have been taunted by bullies.

  16. I do wonder what parents are thinking when they allow their kids to just go “hang out” up town for the night. My 2 oldest kids are teens and I never went for that. They are allowed to go to a specific destination (i.e. movie, restaurant), then picked up when that was over. Even if you have “good kids” which I know most of these kids are, things can happen when there are huge crowds of them roaming around. As for that “nothing to do” refrain,every kid since the beginning of time, (or at least since I was a kid)complains there is nothing to do in their town. I guarantee you we could start up the coolest teen center in town and kids still wouldn’t go and still would complain of nothing to do. So I don’t think the solution lies necessarily in generating places/events for them. I do think parents have to take responsiblity for their kids whereabouts and activities.

  17. Kevin, Ice, you guys live in fantasy land. Here’s an idea, turn off the TV, get off your couch, and meet some real people.

  18. After reading this article, I remembered my son was uptown with his friends on Saturday night, and didn’t mention anything to me about a fight ????? Oddly enough, my son was one of three MHS students, who was “knocked down” by a group of six other Montclair students. Turns out one kid made a remark to another, words were exchanged, and one kid was pushed to the ground, three – to – four other kids jumped in, etc., etc. As expected, pushing, shoving and some punching…. The teen that was knocked down was not injured and was taken to Montclair police station, only to identify the other teens who jumped on him. No one was seriously hurt. When I asked my son “why” he didn’t mention this incident when he got home,… his response was,… ” You didn’t ask….” Living with teenagers is on a need to know basis.

  19. There are some things that need more clarification and/or comment. First, most, but not all of the “bullying” kids from the three incidents were from Montclair and some of the kids may have been as young as middle school aged. Second, there was at least one girl in the mix of aggressors on Saturday night. Clarification: the police picked up the victims to protect them and they were released to their families. They were not seriously injured. One of them didn’t even have a scratch or a bruise on him. (I saw the kid). The suspects were not positively identified, so nothing more could be done with that. I don’t know if they were brought to the station for questioning, but without positive identification, it is difficult. The number of offending people was about 7 or 8. The number of victims, this time, was 2.
    As for the teens that were attacked, they live locally and were just hanging together. With limited funds, sitting in an establishment for an extended period of time over a soda is not a situation an establishment may be happy to accommodate. Walking around, chatting, meeting up with other friends is, imho, a normal activity. It was what I did growing up and my mother was incredibly strict about my whereabouts. It is, afterall, not a crime to walk around town, peacefully, with friends, and, for the record, being in a movie theater does not guarantee good or safe behavior.
    Teens need some space in order to learn how to manage their time and learn to manage social situations in a limited, controlled (safe) environment. The parents of the boys who were assaulted knew where the boys were (in Upper Montclair) and the boys have cell phones so their specific locations can easily be found. A system of close tabs seems to be in place. The boys also have curfews set by their parents.
    It seems to be a knee-jerk response to blame parents for everything. It is certainly every parent’s right to exercise their own limitations with their children, but I think it is insulting to expect everyone to live up to someone else’s idea of “perfect parenting”. Equally, I don’t believe that the parents of the offending parties are all negligent, either. Sometimes kids do things just to get to their parents. I am sure that at least some of those parents would be as displeased with the behaviors of their bullying children as we are. Yes, there are parents who don’t care, and yes, there are parents who cultivate pugnacious, even racist, behaviors, but I don’t believe that is, by and large, the case here. I believe that, for the most part, the individuals involved are creating this atmosphere on their own, and, even the victims don’t see this as representative of an entire group. This is a sub group and viewing this in any other way, in my opinion, gives the aggressors far too much power.
    You may be wondering how I know so much about this situation. I am a mom who knows these kids. I listen to them. I see them when I am out. I know my son’s friends and most of their parents. I know lots of other kids who are not friends of my children, too, having been PTA president in the district for five years, being involved in Writer’s Room, which puts me directly with kids in classrooms, having been involved in scouting and various other volunteer positions involving kids of Montclair. And, I consider myself lucky to have this experience.
    As for Barista, I thank you. I am happy that you chose to air this information. Hopefully, in this forum, we can find some common ground and collect suggestions that may be useful and used constructively to keep our kids safe!

  20. Sounds like an earlier post-er’s daughter was doing a little bit of overdramatizing in her recounting of the events.
    Cheryl’s example of active, involved parenting is very commendable as compared to the other examples of reactionary and inflamatory behavior here.
    Thrown into the street to get run over by a bus! FIVE police cars! A police and mayoral coverup! Pull your children off the streets of Upper Montclair before it’s too late!

  21. -no one expects any one person to be the perfect parent Cheryl and being involved is imperative-
    and I, as an ex child, ex law enforcemnet officer and a parent understand the need to allow children to move freely in society and learn how to behave without a “leash”-
    My child has gotten hurt in front of my very eyes an arms length away from me-
    However, when large groups form, there is more chance for reckless behavior-running into traffic- pushing-fights -walking on the tracks, mishief, nothing that would necessarily be considered harmful in any premeditated way-but hazardous none the less.
    And from one who knows the nicest of kids sometimes gets caught up in what is sometimes referred to as “mob mentality”-peer pressure, false bravado (earlier exsposure to drugs, alcohol, smoking, and sex)…
    Fear of revocation of privledge often leads a child not to disclose the truth-the whole truth-
    Look, I love kids and I won’t say that my prior experiences haven’t left me unfortunately with the “Worst Case Scenerio” mentality-It Has.
    However, from my experience, working in a county of 72 municipalities, I remain consistent unmonitored (cell phones don’t count as a monitoring device)nightime activities of juveniles eventually leads to incident, accident, and/or victimization.

  22. Seems like the Barista got the facts right. One of the reasons I come to this site is because of stories like this. You may see ten words in the police blotter but that’s never the whole story. Keep it up!
    And you’ll forgive me if I don’t get worked up over teenagers fighting with their fists. Two teenagers were robbed at gunpoint on my street a few weeks ago by four other teenagers, possibly with an automatic weapon.

  23. Wow Pete,
    I didn’t hear anything about this – was anyone hurt? Was anyone caught? Was it day or night?

  24. tis the season for the robberies-fa la la la la la la la la…watch your pocketbocks ladies-at the mall travel to your car with groups-ah, never mind…

  25. hrh, I got outside as the police and ambulance arrived so what I know is from overhearing their conversation with the kids and from what was reported in the police blotter in Bloomfield Life.
    It was in the evening a few weeks ago, on a Sunday I believe but I can’t recall. Two teens were approached near the VFW hall off of Broad St. by four other teens with a gun. The victims were pushed up against the cemetery fence and robbed at gunpoint (phone and some money). From the sound of the cocking of the gun the victims described (or something like that) it was speculated by the police that it was an automatic weapon. The gun was not fired but both kids were apparently struck in the head with the gun and then the suspects dispersed into the cemetery when the police arrived. When I saw them the victims had what seemed like ice packs pressed to their heads so they probably got hit pretty hard.
    I don’t have it in front of me but I believe the blotter mentioned that the suspects were also likely teenagers and were black. From what I could see the victims were about 14-15 and white. At first I thought it odd that the blotter included the color and age of the suspects but left out the victim’s info, but I was told by others that they tend to keep the victim’s info confidential, especially if it involves minors.
    I don’t know if anyone has been arrested or not. I imagine if they do catch them the police will make it known. As far as I know this is an isolated incident, at least for my neighborhood, and I try to read the blotter every week. The police don’t know for sure if it was an automatic, but I doubt very much they would include that in the report if they didn’t have some evidence of that. Pretty scary stuff, eh?

  26. Pete I would assume it was either a semi-automatic or a revolver. Automatics are hard to come by and can not be sold legally anywhere in the US.

  27. Fredo, the daughter who witnessed this is 24 years old, raised here, graduated from a top college in a tough city and was disgusted by the behavior she and others witnessed as they were going to or leaving the theater.
    Her 911 on a VERIZON cell went to WEST ORANGE prior to getting Montclair Police. The boy in the street had blood all over his face. Maybe he wasn’t hurt seriously, but he was injured and she and others witnessed him being kicked. Alot of kicking can cause internal injuries.
    You are NOT going to see this in the Montclair Times and PLENTY of people saw the FIVE POLICE CARS, maybe because so many people at the Theater were concerned and called! Put your head in the sand, that is what happened and it is not a reaction. If YOU were there what would YOU have done? Remsen wasn’t there. He had to do some checking.
    Thanks to the Barista an incident that should be addressed is being discussed and people are being made aware of incidents that are not making the papers all over Baristaville.

  28. No doubt those hooligans were the same miscreants with the extra Y chromosomes that brutalized our beloved irises. Forget about Remsen, bring Rudy Guiliani to Montclair!

  29. I personally witnessed this incident in its entirety. Here is what happened as I was just across the street and immediately came across after the attack stopped:
    A small group of MHS kids (all white) were approached by about 5 or 6 African-American boys with one girl. Now I am not trying to stir up rascism I am just telling it how it happened. The attackers walked up to one of the boys and threw an un-provoked insult at him. A second boy (the victim) stepped and stood up for his friend verbally not physically. The group of attackers became extremely provoked by this and sorrounded the boy who stepped up for his friend. The boy knew he was about to be jumped but did not provoke the situation physically. The boys friends tried verbally to break it up before it became physical. The smallest member of the attackers snuck up behind the boy and grabbed his arms and yanked him down. The boy immediately got up and was pounced upon by all six attackers. The boy fought in self defence but there was nothing one guy can do against six people. They repeatedly punched him in the head and may have kicked him. Meanwhile the victims two friends jumped in ONLY TRYING TO BREAK IT UP. They two were punched. The main victim was tossed to the ground and punched repeadedly while on the ground. He got back up quickly and the attackers fled into Anderson Park.
    Almost immediately (1 minute max) several police cars arrived and rather rudely (the f-word was used) started to question the victim. The victim who had no apparent injuries except for a tiny scrape under one eye (HE WAS NOT BLEEDING AT ANY POINT) gave a description as best he could and he and the main witness were taken into a police car and driven off.
    First off I want to mention that the police arrived very quickly and had 7 or 8+ police cars driving around looking for the culprits.
    And second the victims had no apparent injuries and were basically not hurt except for the small cut and a couple small bruises.
    Also I am aware of at least one other incident in which the same group assaulted another kid of the same age in the same general area. The police were not summoned to this attack. Believe me people fights like this are NOT uncommon in that area, though they don’t happen every night and are usually not as serious.

  30. None of you actually know what the whole story is. Your so called “facts” are mostly a load of crap. I think the only thing on this entire thing that is true is, yes there was a fight. No, his face wasn√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t bloody; he hadn√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t a mark on him. Just goes to show how reliable witnesses are. And dont be so dramatic with it, “his face shoved into the ground”, “kicked in the ribs, and Face repedetly”, “left in the street”. And this is not just another case of teens messing around in town, and this is not the first time that this has happend. i have a good idea, before another parent group goes and gets the world banned by posts like this, why do you figure out what your talking about first.

  31. As far as I could see… I had a very good view… He was never kicked but he was a punched in the face and body a grotesque amount of times.

  32. i would like to retract what i had just said, when i was writing it the post above mine was not there, and it was completely correct. i would like to say this though, this is not the first time, and its gang related. sooner or later some one is going to get hurt.

  33. cstarling, Sounds like you have had some bad experiences, and I can see how that may affect how you feel about this issue. However, in your reply warning us of the dangers “when large groups form”, you don’t address the situation of these two victims who were not out forming a large group. If we are saying that two people can’t be safe walking around town, it is a very sad statement. And, while I agree that sometimes large groups (what constitutes a large group, anyway, certainly not two people) can spell trouble, I don’t believe it is always a recipe for disaster. It depends on the people involved. I understand your concern. I am concerned, too, which is why I stay involved, but I get a feeling of great pride when my children make the good decisions that they have learned to make. I certainly agree with you that you can’t always protect them, too, “even an arm’s distance away”, but you can arm them with all of your knowledge so that they have the tools to make the right decisions when the time comes. Practicing those lessons is part of the learning process. It sounds like we we have a lot in common as we seem to be after the same things – safe, healthy kids. That is a good thing!

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