Bored teens strike out at homeless.
Whatever you call it, the latest phenomenon for some teenagers is practiced on the most vulnerable members of society. “Sport killing,” “wilding” or just “amusement” beatings of the homeless is on the rise. In the first half of 2008, 13 homeless people were killed. In 2007 there was a reported 160 non-fatal incidents. Not all involved teens but some did.
In June, 2008, 33-year-old Ricky Green was attacked and stabbed multiple times by a group of young people including two juveniles in California. He was hit with bottles, a flashlight and a skateboard. Ricky spent two weeks in the hospital recovering from his injuries. Five people were arrested and charged with attempted murder.
Later that month, in Cleveland, Ohio, three teens were videotaped beating 42 year-old Anthony Waters. He suffered head injuries, broken ribs and a lacerated spleen. He later died at the hospital.
When asked why these attacks are happening, Michael Stoops [executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless] stated that a combination of summer boredom, drugs, alcohol and a group mentality is a dangerous if not lethal mix. Some reports indicate that middle class kids with no previous criminal record are amused by the attacks, reporting that it reminds them of playing violent video games.