Sunday, May 25, 2008

Random, alternative, Iconoclastic thoughts on the Federal Hill brawl

Some thoughts on the "Federal Hill Melee"
  • Buz has assisted a number of young professionals who are relocating to Baltimore. The vast majority of them immediately say that they want to live in either Federal Hill, Canton, or Fells Point. Nope, don't wanna look anywhere else! A couple even said they want to be near "the action". Translation: they want to be near lots of people just like themselves, and near lots of young people going to clubs and bars.
  • Buz is leery of the "anything goes" atmosphere which accompanies bar-closing time around these bar-intensive areas. Reason: he spent many an early morning near 2am policing the Fells Point bar areas on Friday and Saturday nights (not to mention some other nights, too). If you go to that well often enough, bad things can happen.
  • Now, there's nothing in Buz which praises or forgives stabbing people (and potentially almost killing them), but he is just pointing out that this is the nature of the beast. One has to be a tad judicious in living and frequenting these areas. And, in recent years, clubbing has only seemed to get worse and more risky in Baltimore.
  • I read the shrill email account of the attack, (all those blanks and blanks and blanks made Buz's head hurt), and I did get the same sense that the police were holding to in the Sun report: there was a dispute. This is not to blame the victims, but there was a holier-than-thou/we are innocently attacked tone to the whole message.
  •  A typical bar closing scene: WWWWhoooooooooooo;! Screaming at the top of your lungs in the middle of the street! (the mating cry of the Young Urban Professional male, who has imbibed past inhibition stage). Hollering, screaming, by the hundreds; peeing on steps; lots of fighting! It's wild! And it's Preakness night! The Infield continues!! Anything goes. Wooooooooooooo! Whoops, I just vomited on that lady's steps! F her! F the police.
  • Newsflash to Young Urban Professionals: the old native Baltimorons don't like you taking over their neighborhoods--and some of them are nasty dirtballs. Don't you all know the neighborhoods after dark belong to the thugs? Are you trying to be better thugs than they are? Call them the Have-no-Blackberry crowd hating and resenting the Blackberry crowds. 
  • Buz drove through Federal Hill late on weekend night not too long ago, and was amazed, though not surprised, about the huge crowds taking over the streets, and the yelling and playing in the street. In some posts on other forums Buz has read that people were upset about the lack of protection. For you or from you? Buz has talked to a number of homeowners and business people who want the imbibers protected from thugs, but also want themselves protected from the imbibers. It's hard to have it both ways.
  • Buz was amazed that Detective Bailey, the lead investigator in the case, asked for any witnesses "who may have been sober" to contact him. Wow! I have never heard such a public statement about drinking witnesses from a police official before. I wonder if he was able to say it without a trace of sarcasm or irony in his voice.
  • Police have not been able to find this MTA bus that was involved in the accident.
  • Now, Buz was not there that night, nor has he read any of the police reports, nor has he talked to any of the victims. But he has spent many nights closing down bars--sometimes even off duty, as Buz likes a cool, refreshing, beverage every now and then. At other times, we were on duty and conducting crowd control. Buz has observed that the crowd is in a significantly different mood at 2am, and opposed, to say, 11pm. And significantly more mouthy. Buz sometimes told his shift at roll call, 1130pm before going on the street on Friday or Saturday nights: there's no point in arguing with drunks. Tell them no more than 3 times what you want them to do. If they still don't, there's no point in continuing discussion: either lock them up or walk away.
  • "Sir, can you move along, there's been some trouble, here and we need you to go to your car" reply: "You can't tell me what to do! It's a free country! Woooooooooooooo!!"
  • "Get out of the street!" reply: "you can't catch me!"
  • "F this, F that"!
  • My guess that the Southern District midnite shift was a little overwhelmed, and that their extra units had been detailed to the Preakness events and were not available. Or they could have just been busy with fights all over the place; it sounds like there were so many, even traffic couldn't get thru. Allegedly, even the nasties' car couldn't get through. Of course, police overtime might have been cut back--and there went the extra crowd control troops.
  • When I was in Southeastern, we always did out best to have extra cops on hand after Preakness, 'cause a lot ot the party goers would come down to Fells Point afterward.
  • And Buz is amused that the Young Urban Professionals believe that there is some kind of conspiratorial coverup going on because it wasn't reported. Newsflash: the reporters need days off too; crime happening late Saturday night into Sunday morning is often not reported. Especially on Preakness night. And there are fights and stabbings all over the city, including Fells Point, Canton, and, of course, Fed Hill. Most are not reported in the press.
  • Buz is glad that Ms. Ashley Zion is now in a place where, if she likes to fight, there are probably a lot of other women there who can accommodate her. She so far has skated on all her previous assault arrests (several), probably because the complainants didn't show up. What set her and her friends off? Your consultant believes: she feels she was "disrespected" by the victims' group somehow (whether she was or not), she was probably legally drunk, she thought the yelling for her to stop was a form of snitching,  and betch, 2-1, she was coked up--a symptom of which in uncontrolled anger and hotheadedness. By the way, did anybody see that she has a judgment against her by her past bail bondsman: Big Girlz Bail Bonds. Well, maybe it's just as well she is on "no bail" for her current charges. And hoopefully with all those charges on her, she just might do a little snitching herself to save herself.
I know that most peojple who go to the bar/club scene are just out to have a good time, but sometimes it gets out of hand; part of the action.

So a couple of tips for safer barhopping in Fells Point, Canton, Federal Hill and other party spots: [No tips available for Preakness infield; if you go, may God have mercy on your soul!]
  • Not much good happens after midnight. The later you stay, the higher your risks.
  • Try to leave to head for home at 1 am--no later. This policy will be your best bet.
  • Know and expect that things will be wild between 1:30 and 2:30am; thus, don't expect police to be around or to protect you, or come quickly.
  • Keep your mouth shut; unless a comment is absolutely friendly, don't say anything to baltimorons you don't know. Accidents, fights, other sorts of bullcrap: just ignore it and get out of the way.
  • Try not to hang at places which cater to thugs. If you feel afraid at times, you don't belong there.
  • Remember, many Baltimorons without Blackberrys also have little brains, but often carry weapons and a need for respect. To the extent possible, be nice to them: survive and prevent harm.


Carol Ott said...

Well I don't own a Blackberry, so I guess that makes me common white trash...but at least I'm smart enough to know that you don't get lippy with strangers on the street late at night...especially after a night of drinking.

Alcohol + lippy .... usually = asswhipping. At least to this white trash gal. But what do I know? I live in a "baaaad neighborhood". :)

buzoncrime said...

Well put, Carol!

I don't own a Blackberry either.

And I dunno..........seems like a lot of young hipsters like your neighborhood. And you don't sound self-righteous, even when you got broken into.

And the police aren't needed to protect us from you.

By the way, the new risk-takers in Hampden have opened a little coffee shop on Falls Road near 36th Street. Haven't had any problem from the druggies; it's like a Star Trek force field is around the store's doorway; they don't come in.

Hope you got that credit card stuff straightened out.

Poor white boy from the projects.
(Sometimes not wrapped too tight).

ppatin said...

Very good post, although I feel the need to briefly speak up in defense of Fells Point. In my opinion the bars in our area attract an older, less douchebaggy crowd than Fed Hill or (gag me) the square in Canton. I'm also rather grateful that we have Cheerleaders/Moby's/Rodos. Those three bars attract most of the thugs and idiots, and keep them away from everyone else in Fells.

Anonymous said...

The joys of being young....

As much as the convenience of being right next to the bars and having the ability to walk to the bar and walk back with an entourage would be worth, the ability to never have to worry about parking, having someone piss on my lawn or deal with loud music when I don't want to hear it tips the balance in favor of quite Mt. Washington over Feral Hill.

You've hit the nail on the head; don't engage in any type of confrontation with the unruly mob unless you're prepared to be fight for your beliefs, no matter how well grounded in reality or morally correct they may be.

Carol Ott said...

We do have some young hip kids here...thank God. They counterbalance the "This will be the next Canton!!!!" crowd. God forbid...

Credit card stuff has been straight for a while now. Glad that nightmare is over!