Neighbors in a historic Southside Fort Worth block say the pranks and antics of children there have turned dangerous. They claim a group of elementary school-aged children are wreaking havoc. They are accused of throwing rocks and onions at cars, taking bikes from front yards, and most recently setting garbage on fire.
Homeowner Maria Luna says her 6-year-old son Jessie won’t sleep in his room alone most nights.
“Every night he’s like, ‘Oh they’re coming, Oh, I hear them!,” she says.
The kids her child fears are just a few years older than he is. Neighbors describe them as a group of elementary school kids between the ages of 8 and 12.
You can still see the burn mark left on Luna’s property from when she says the kids set her garbage on fire. The homeowner has security camera video of the incident. While you can’t see the flames, the video shows children running away. “There were adults with them. You can see a lady with a stroller,” Luna explains.
Another video shows a young girl taking a package from Luna’s front porch. Inside the stolen box were diapers and formula for one of Luna’s special needs children. “It makes me really worried. If they did it in front on an adult, what else can I expect from them?” she asks.
Across the street, a 9-year-old boy tells CBS11 about his stolen bike. Jessie Rodriguez says he bought it with money he received for his first communion.
“They gave it to me. I bought it with my money. It’s sad,” he says. His parents filed a police report and believe the same group of children is responsible.
Luna and her neighbors say they have called the police department on several occasions and filed police reports for various incidents.
The Fort Worth Police Department says calling your Neighborhood Police Officer in cases like this, is a good option. Every neighborhood in Fort Worth has one. He or she is trained in conflict resolution and may help sort out long term problems like this one.
In cases where a resident does not feel comfortable handling conflicts themselves, they can request that the neighborhood police officer meet with them and work on a solution together. Luna, says she will give that option a try, because she could really use help right now. “I don’t know exactly what they can do, but I know they can do better than me.”