First weekend of Phila.’s curfew: Not perfect, but...

Posted: August 14, 2011

So far, so good: No "flash mobs" were reported in Philadelphia's first weekend of early curfews and extra police to curb teen violence.

But a few dozen youths were picked up for violating curfew - and a teenage girl was stabbed in the arm on her way home from Mayor Nutter's Saturday-night youth bowling event.

Police said the wound was minor.

Twelve young people were picked up for curfew violations in Center City on Saturday night, and Nutter went bowling with hundreds of teenagers in Kensington as part of an effort to halt a string of random attacks by gangs of youths.

The number of young people rounded up Saturday was a sharp drop from the 50 apprehended for curfew violations Friday night, mostly in the South Street area. Some 20 city recreation centers were kept open late Saturday night.

Nutter and other city officials were out and about in Center City to reassure tourists and residents after a wave of attacks on pedestrians by roving youths.

"He bowled, and there was a walk-around in parts of Center City," Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald said.

Some 300 youths took part in an event at Erie Lanes in Kensington, part of a Teen Safe Zone initiative launched in tandem with the new 9 p.m. curfew for people under 18 in Center City, the South Street area, and University City.

The 20 recreation centers around the city were also kept open until 10 p.m. Saturday to provide activities.

"I think it was an effective evening for showing if we can organize events for kids, some portion of them will attend," McDonald said.

Police said the stabbing victim, 16, was walking with friends to a bus stop and was three blocks from the bowling party - in a spot not covered by the special curfew - when she was stabbed in the arm by an 18-year-old male who had also attended the event.

She was treated at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and released. Police said she told investigators she knew her assailant.

Corey Maxey, 18, was arrested Sunday morning at home in the 1300 block of North 10th Street. Police said they recovered a "novelty item" in his home: an item shaped like a house key that contained a small retractable knife blade. Maxey was charged with aggravated assault and other offenses.

Overall, Nutter said in a prepared statement, "It was a pretty quiet night in Philadelphia. . . . We are going to continue to promote the positive, but we will also have continued enforcement of the curfew. It is strict and serious and there are no exceptions."

He also called on businesses to help: "I'm asking our corporate partners to take a second look at opportunities for bright young people who are trying to get on with their future. We need more after-school job opportunities and full-time positions in the summer."

Contact staff writer Nathan Gorenstein at 215-854-2797 or ngorenstein@phillynews.com.


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