Kid gangs thriving in Housatonic

Kid gangs thriving in Housatonic

There are 352 comments on the Berkshire Eagle story from Mar 22, 2008, titled Kid gangs thriving in Housatonic. In it, Berkshire Eagle reports that:

If memory serves me correctly, there were gangs in Housatonic, part of Great Barrington, back in the '70s. People banded together, a crime watch was established and a serious situation was mitigated.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Berkshire Eagle.

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A Mother

Chicopee, MA

#1 Mar 22, 2008
Mr. Chartock,
People shouldn't point fingers with dirty hands. This story of what transpired in Housatonic has been far but told. There was so much left out from what actually happened that day, it's ridiculous. Don't get me wrong, loitering is loitering....definately one of the worse offences, but you shouldn't ALWAYS give your opinion IN PRINT, until you're sure you have all of the facts.
Im sure many people wish that the only dilema they had was where to walk next with their lovely wife, or what to build next for their dog. Your children grew up in a differnet time. Things werent the same as they are today.
If a child got into a scuffle, the police called your parents. Times have changed Mr. Chartock, don't judge....you have no idea.
Emeritus

Pittsfield, MA

#2 Mar 22, 2008
Mother, I would love to hear "what really happened" outside of that store since it is not being reported/printed with the actual "facts"...
Bring it on, give us your side. Thanks.

Since: Mar 08

Pittsfield, MA

#3 Mar 22, 2008
A Mother,

Chartock should just stick to the problems of his true home New York state instead of pretending to have any reason to comment on the ires of the Berkshires. Yes, he lives here, but give me a break.

The story about the assault in Housatonic is definitely missing an entire slew of facts that no one seemed to follow up on. What happened that day was hardly orchestrated by the Bloods, Crips or MS 13 regardless of what the Eagle reporter and I, Publius would lead anyone to believe.
Yep

Syracuse, NY

#4 Mar 22, 2008
These events have no Link to the Bloods,Crips, or ms-13 at all...I know throwing those names at the situation makes it sound alot worse than it was...Why bother, seriously...

“What are you looking at?”

Since: Feb 08

Location hidden

#5 Mar 22, 2008
Chartock the everyman's no man. He wouldn't know the facts if they came up, bit him, then stole his company car for which he does not claim any benefit on the WAMC tax filing.
Jeff Kramer

United States

#6 Mar 22, 2008
If you live in Housatonic you can not help but notice the young kids on the street late at night, particularly in summer. It is not uncommon to see 12 year olds on the street at 11pm. Since I have a 14 year old at home, I have gotten to know many of the kids in Housatonic who are involved in much of the trouble. They often appear to have no limits or even respect for each other and can be violent. It is difficult enough trying to raise a child today. Housatonic is no longer an isolated village. All the problems of any city can be found here. But please remember that there are still plenty of good kids in Housatonic too.
ombudsman

Springfield, MA

#7 Mar 22, 2008
I'm with Emeritus on this.
Those of you who have ALL of the FACTS which are not being reported by the newspaper, should enlighten the rest of us. This the place to do it.
You don't have to name anyone. Just give us the FACTS if you have them; not rumors, or "he said, she said". We're waiting.

“What are you looking at?”

Since: Feb 08

Location hidden

#8 Mar 22, 2008
Where are the PARENTS? I mean these must be local kids, right? They are not busing them in to cause trouble...
Jeff Kramer

United States

#9 Mar 22, 2008
One fact I have comes from a teacher in GTB. It concerns 12 year olds sexually active and a gang of kids beating up one kid on the playground.
It is a fact that young kids are on the street at very late hours. That some of them are drinking and using drugs. Also, this past summer there was a round of sexual grafitti spray painted in the area including a sign on my property. The flowers placed in flower boxes on the bridge were torn up and tossed into the water. I have personally witnessed kids fighting. Twice kids in a car harassed our child with derogatory sexual comments and once tossed a drink out of the window at her.
Some of these kids I know are extremely mistrustful of any adults. It is not make believe there are real problems in Housatonic.
Jeff Kramer

United States

#10 Mar 22, 2008
Swinson wrote:
Where are the PARENTS? I mean these must be local kids, right? They are not busing them in to cause trouble...
Mostly local, although a few come from outside. I know 2 parents that were routinely dropping off their young teenage daughters in Housatonic so they could hang out.
ombudsman

Springfield, MA

#11 Mar 22, 2008
The kids causing the problems will continue to cause problems if no one does anything about it.
When no one does anything about it, the problems escalate, in terms of brazenness, frequency, and viciousness. When they are no longer juveniles, we'll likely be reading their names in the paper for arrests for drunken driving, drug sales, domestic abuse, and assaults.(Refer to local murder and assaults)

One has to wonder how much of the offensive behavior is the result of the incredible amount of violence and thugishness that is so glorified on TV, in the movies, and in video games. Lots of low self-esteemed wannabes out there, who want to walk the walk, and talk the talk, but have little else to offer, or ever will. It's a problem everywhere, not just Housatonic.

If the parents are incapable, or unwilling, to deal with the problem kids, I believe that the courts can make the parents responsible for a child's behavior, and, in some cases, make them liable for damages done, and injuries caused.

Don't let them beat you down.
yamon

Chicopee, MA

#12 Mar 22, 2008
Please please have your little darlings visit my house............your right times are not the same and either is my scope.....or my shovel.........
teenage girl

Pittsfield, MA

#13 Mar 22, 2008
I sat and read the article on "housy gangs" and read all of the comments. I am a 16 1/2 year old girl that lives in housatonic. I am friends with these kids you call thugs and i guess you could say im part of the "gang". I am not from a "disfunctional" family and i have been raised VERY well if i do say so myself. I am a fair, respectful, and good hearted person. But i do make mistakes, just like every other kid. I am not going to deny that there are several kids and young adults in Housatonic that have been in a large deal of trouble and yes, several are on probation. I have the FACTS because i am right in this..what i feel is a very unfair situation. I have heard so many rumors so far from the truth its rediculous. This is why i am writing as a kid although im sure a great amount of adults will just laugh at what im saying, because of my age. You want to know facts...
Yes, there is too much trouble in Housatonic and it needs to end. There are drugs EVERYWHERE and if you think Housatonic is the place you should be worrying about, you are so wrong. One thing i would like to clear up is the Aberdales situation...I am so enraged at the rumors i have heard and i know that a lot of adults believe them. 15 kids in a gang did not go to aberdales looking for a fight. They did not go there showing disrespect or to start trouble. They bought food and drinks at aberdales and were sitting on the benches eating it, not doing ANYTHING but talking among themselves. They DID NOT start trouble with anyone and i believe we have a right to sit on the benches given and enjoy what we bought if we are not starting trouble. And that is just what they weredoing. I do understand that 10 kids sitting outside of a store, lookin like a "gang" might seem scary but they were not being mean, and most kids have good hearts. I know this for a fact. When Joe came outside of his store he had a great attitude and started with a few of the kids, getting in one mans face and then got into an exchange of words with another. From there it esculated and never should have happened. Yes, there was a coffee thrown in his face and he was punched s couple of times. It should not have happened but it did. But what should be known is that 10 kids did not jump him. The truth is so far from that. No, the kids are not innocent in this case, but do not sit there and blame them when you dont have the FACTS. When kids are not doing anything wrong and are disrespected, obcourse we are going to get angry and feel mistreated. Joe is FAR from innocent here, and i hope some of you see it. I was there that day and i know and saw EVERYTHING that happened. It is over, and kids are not going around beating adults up. The blame goes both ways. All i ask is before everyone goes around telling others lies and rumors, try and find out the REAL truth. Get the story from different sources because i want the truth to be told. I will do my part and make sure that who i hang out with does not start trouble, but i dont have to worry, all we want is to be together and have fun. We will always stick together because we love eachother and need love. Ill end it sinse ive writen so much, just get the FACTS.
teenage girl

Pittsfield, MA

#14 Mar 22, 2008
to Yamon:

The kind of comments like yours are not going to help ANYONE or ANYTHING. People are trying to make things better in Housatonic, NOT start more problems. Saying you have a shovel and scope will just make kids mad and start more arguments, if you want to change things and have problems then think of something to help!
A Mother

Chicopee, MA

#15 Mar 22, 2008
Emeritus wrote:
Mother, I would love to hear "what really happened" outside of that store since it is not being reported/printed with the actual "facts"...
Bring it on, give us your side. Thanks.
Keep your eye out for Letters To The Editor...

A Mother
A Mother

Chicopee, MA

#17 Mar 22, 2008
teenage girl wrote:
to Yamon:
The kind of comments like yours are not going to help ANYONE or ANYTHING. People are trying to make things better in Housatonic, NOT start more problems. Saying you have a shovel and scope will just make kids mad and start more arguments, if you want to change things and have problems then think of something to help!
It's amazing it takes a "teenage girl" to speak such intelligence on this matter. Good for you. You are right about several things that you said. Thank you for speaking up.
Emeritus

Pittsfield, MA

#18 Mar 22, 2008
16 1/2, thanks for taking a few minutes to tell your side. Let me make myself clear, I just wanted to hear the "other" side of the story, or perhaps some facts, because we were not getting them.

We can go on all day about youth and sex, drugs, gangs... it happens everywhere. Kids are kids. I was one as well. A few things have changed from my generation to yours. We threw down on a dime with our fists, not guns & knives like you read about so often today.

BTW, 10-15 kids sitting on a bench in Housy, GB, or anwhere for that matter in Berk County do not alarm me for a minute. Most of these wannabees wouldn't know what hit them if we drove two hours east or south :)

Thanks.
jim bob

Syracuse, NY

#19 Mar 22, 2008
WWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAHHHHHH

Adults.....afraid of Children? Give me a break. Life isn't going to be peachy and friendly wherever you go.

Why not come down to Pittsfield and go for a walk around 10:30 around 2nd Street or Cherry? Want to talk about uncomfortable? Take a walk down Francis or Robbins.

There are problems like this everywhere in Berkshire County. Have you ever seen the young girls walking around the Cherry street area once it gets dark out?

All of these problem children people speak of in Housatonic, do they realize they have PARENTS? Instead of focusing on why the kids have such disrespected, willingness to do drugs, roaming the streets late at night...why is nobody going after the parents? Why???

Because it's easier to judge a book by it's cover.
Stop talking so much about the teens raising hell, find the parents and raise hell with them. Your children are a product of how they are raised.
GMHeller

United States

#20 Mar 22, 2008
teenage girl wrote:
I sat and read the article on "housy gangs" and read all of the comments. I am a 16 1/2 year old girl that lives in housatonic. I am friends with these kids you call thugs and i guess you could say im part of the "gang". I am not from a "disfunctional" family and i have been raised VERY well if i do say so myself. I am a fair, respectful, and good hearted person. But i do make mistakes, just like every other kid. I am not going to deny that there are several kids and young adults in Housatonic that have been in a large deal of trouble and yes, several are on probation. I have the FACTS because i am right in this..what i feel is a very unfair situation. I have heard so many rumors so far from the truth its rediculous. This is why i am writing as a kid although im sure a great amount of adults will just laugh at what im saying, because of my age. You want to know facts...
Hi Teenage Girl.
I believe you.
The thing to do is for each of the guys who got into the dust-up at Aberdales to go and just apologize (as hard as that might be for the guys' egos to take).
They should NOT go as a group, but rather individually.
The store owner has the right to make sure that customers who may want to enter his store are not feeling intimidated.
Even though your friends when they were just hanging-out were likely acting like kids do anywhere in a group, that doesn't mean that the store owner or customers might not have perceived that hanging-out as threatening behavior.
Reality: The store owner has to generate sales in order to pay his rent and eat, and if people don't walk through his door, for any reason, then he's going to be hurting.
So my recommendation is for your friends to chill and go apologize to the guy.
Just a suggestion.
jim bob

Syracuse, NY

#21 Mar 22, 2008
GMHeller, who are you to dictate how people enter a store? Just curious.

If the store owner wants no loitering, remove the benches. If kids are standing at the front of the store and you don't want them there. Lean out the door, ask them nicely to leave and duck back inside. If they don't leave, call the authorities.

No need for a confrontation.

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