PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Some North Portland neighbors are fed up with what they say is a group of teens terrorizing the community through home and car break-ins to assaults.
Neighbors who spoke with KOIN 6 News said they don’t feel safe and have organized a community meeting to share information and come up with a plan.
Organizers of that meeting said crime began ramping up in the St. Johns neighborhood in September. One resident named Stephanie shared a video she took at the Diamond Nails Salon where, she said, a group of teens got violent with employees as they left the salon without paying.
“They were very violent and scary with them and one of the people who work there actually got hurt,” Stephanie said. “You can tell they are very dangerous and aggressive. They had no empathy for the owner.”
Her niece, Layla, was with her at the time.
“It’s really disheartening considering how young they are and they think that they can just go around and do this to people,” Layla said. “It’s just so wrong.”
Neighbors believe they are some of the same teens involved in other recent crimes.
A 7-11 employee told KOIN 6 News the youths came into the store a couple of weeks back and tried to steal some alcohol. When he tried to stop them, he said they punched him in the face.
The employee added the kids’ guardians were outside of the store when the assault happened. He said two girls were taken into police custody.
Residents also said a man at the St. Johns Plaza refused to buy the teens alcohol just this past Sunday. Witnesses said on social media the teens attacked the man, hitting him in the head with a skateboard and breaking his nose.
Another woman who spoke with KOIN 6 News said a group of teens assaulted her about an hour later as she walked home.
“She got cold-cocked on the side of the head by a girl,” another resident said on her behalf. “She got a really good look at her and when I showed her the footage of the nail salon she’s like, ‘Yup, that’s her.'”
Residents believe at least some of the teens are associated with one particular house in the neighborhood.
Portland police officials told KOIN 6 News they’ve looked into the cases. A report was made on October 13 about an assault possibly with a skateboard, but no arrests were made. Investigators continue to look into the incidents but can’t definitively say if they involve the same individuals.
Meanwhile, a group of neighbors met Thursday night at Flying Pie Pizzeria to talk about what they can do. They worked together to create a timeline of all the crimes they said the youths are responsible for.
“The main thing right now is getting this youth off the street so that people can start feeling safe,” said Laura Seeton, who was at the meeting.
Many neighbors are worried the incidents will only get more violent if they continue.
“My concern is someone is going to be seriously or fatally hurt,” Stephanie said.