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    Bored teens strike out at homeless.

    Date: 07.20.08 | by Judge Tom.

    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. 

    Photo by James Fischer (Flickr)

    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.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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