Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The bankings will continue until morale improves!

Buz has been following the various posts on Peter Hermann's blog about the "random attacks" (also known as "banking" here in Baltimore, as in we just banked that no-good "mf", got him good, too. Ha ha.)
And there was huge front page coverage in the Sunday edition of the Sun, with the headline City on Guard, or something like that.

An earlier post I made on Baltimore Crime blog under Random Attacks,  elicited a response from Matthew who got banked while walking home on Lombard Street, just a couple blocks east of the Harbor, and not far from his home. And a number of comments on other blogs have posted about attacks on them or that they have witnessed, including Tom who wrote about the banking of a dude on the light rail.

Is this the end of the Baltimore we knew, or is it the same old thing, but now it is widely reported because of the Internet?

In the short term, there will be a huge police presence downtown around the harbor, and in the Market Place area, but what will happen in the long term? Will banking just go away, as it gets into summer and the youngsters get tired of it? Or will there be an "Incident" of some kind, like Berhard Goetz a number of years ago, or will someone be killed? Or will it, hopefully drift out of fashion.

The first couple of Sundays will be the true test: will the kids challenge the cops with their new show of force? We'll see what happens. Usually a heavy manpower show-of-force before something happens does deter rowdy behavior to some extent. But the uniformed force is understaffed and cannot be everywhere.

Buz thought Peter Hermann's piece on Sunday, the 31st was superb. However, I don't think the caption under the picture is correct. Tourists and diners will not be, as Councilman Cole hopes, "coexisting" or sharing the sidewalks with roaming gangs of teenagers. Eventually, there won't be any tourists or diners, if it becomes too scary. Of course, the city and the mayor and the commish all recognize that and will do their best by having a heavy police presence-at least in the Inner Harbor area.
Now, it may be possible to create an "everyday Preakness infield" atmosphere (I hear that really draws tourists!), or a version of Marid Gras (but I thought we had that on the Block every night!), but I am not sure a majority of our citizens want to live with those either.

Some more random eclectic thoughts about this crisis:
  • My dear wife thought the Sun was sensationalizing this whole thing with how they layed-the front page out and the headline: all to sell more papers. But I think the story is an important one.
  • One lady wrote to the Sun's editors that she has talked to several officers who said the morale on the police force was very low because of little backing and little prosecution, and little punishment. Hmmmmmm. Perhaps if morale improves, the banking will stop?
  • Ah, the Suite Ultralounge, hopefully ready to be put out of its moneymaking business. Those in the security consulting field know all to well  that clubs like this typically do not ask for any guidance or advice from professionals, if at all, until it is too late, and they end up shooting themselves in their wallets. Of course, many of them don't care, they're in it to make as much money as they can, as quickly as they can, by pouring as much alcohol into folks as they can sell, until too much trouble happens. If they get shut down, so be it, they can always look for another place.
  • OOOOOh. Somebody is going to get an ass-chewing! A kid got banked yesterday outside the Maryland Science Center at the Inner Harbor. Probably someone did not get the word from the Commish that none of this stuff is supposed to go on at the Inner Harbor; certainly the kids from Digital Harbor didn't read it or watch TV. Oh, I know, those kids didn't do it! I remember last year or the year before when there was a banking of numerous pedestrians along the promenade and Donny Moses, the police spokesman said that their uniforms showed that they were from Digital Harbor. Oh, the principal said: you have no proof; our kids are good kids, they don't do stuff like that! Moses, when questioned on TV, stood by his statement: the uniforms matched those of the only high school nearby.
  • We wish the mayor or some popular elected or selected public figure would show some outrage publicly. Ray Lewis, I know you wanted to help and I know it's off season, so you're relaxing your sore muscles and counting your money, but like, maybe you can say something, or maybe go out on patrol or something with some of the other Ravens. Don't worry: I don't think the kids will attack you.
  • We wish Peter Hermann will tell us about the 4 Canadian naval officers who were attacked. Now, Buz remembers that a Canadian destroyer docked at Fells Point 2 or 3 weeks ago, and he is sure that sailors will sometimes by sailors, know what I'm saying? But officers? I dunno (a technical term). Like, were they drunk, causing trouble, or did they just get banked? We'd like to know!
  • Have you all noticed how many guys now carry a semi-concealed folded knife on a clasp in their pocket or belt? I guess that's sort of a way of proving that it is not concealed, so an arrest would be questionable? Even good guys like my neighbor do it; of course, he's in construction, but.......  So, my worry is that eventually one of these guys is going to pull out this knife or box cutter, slash or stab, even kill one of these kids, and there will be all sorts of conniptions to pay.
  • We noticed a lot of these attacked persons had the temerity to venture out and about when packs of hooky-playing school kids were looking for something to do. Not to mention right after school when the crowd mentality takes over. Bad move; these kids own the streets then.
It looks like this will be a continuing story, now that crime is down, but we're number one (will there by a parade, escorted by hundreds of dirt-bikes, with traffickers throwing out red-tops from floats?) Now, could it be that the stat-driven Comp Stat has outlived its usefulness? Or should we just begin a Bank Stat?


ppatin said...


In response to your question, Fells Point appears to be its usual self although I'm not around all that often anymore. The 400 blk. of Wolfe Street is a pretty safe address, although one thing I like about living on a 500 blk house is that it puts me between two relatively busy streets (Fleet and Eastern). The large amount of traffic makes me feel safer if I'm coming home late at night or have to leave home really early to get to BWI.

buzoncrime said...

OK; thanks, PP---
I thought the house this Bloomberg School of Public Health student and I looked at with her dad was very good and a very nice location--just 13 blocks from school. The walk home from school might be a bit dicey after dark, but I think reasonably safe.

Bmore said...

nice work as usual.

i think we may be walking into a "tragedy" : where a group of kids roll up on a guy and his girl.

The guys been hearing about the rising level of random violence against random whites (for the most part, in these "safe" areas)..Hes nervous about walking to the store with his 5'3 petite blond wife..He cant even think of the pain he would feel if they both got beat up, or if she gets knocked out while trying to help her husband (which actually happened the other day)...or worse. After all, hes the man in the relationship..hes seen some "roaming teens" a couple hours ago..could they still be roaming? he doesnt want any trouble, he just wants to make it to the store in mt.vernon and back...but its 10 pm...he doesn't want to appear scared or timid when his wife asks him to take a trip with her to the store..shes oblivious, but hes not...so they go, their walking down the street, he sees his worst fear, 14 loud,cursing teens..oh and they all have red bandanas on...hes on the same side of the street as they are...15 yards away max...he wants to walk around the group, but they are pretty much taking up the whole street...he clenches his jaw, holds his wife and attempts to make it through....he passes the crew, everything seems ok until he gets punched in the back of the head, he turns to see the crew following, yelling racial slurs, and making moves towards his wife..oh my god are they about to be banked like Sowers? are these thugs armed with a knife?...then,,,,BOOM BOOM....he panics and fires 2 shots from his firearm that he carried for the exact same encounter...15 year old gang member shot dead....now is the guys life over just like the banger he just banked? if so, then that is the ultimate tragedy...

RatherBeBiking said...

We have been having similar problems in Lower Manhattan. Read more at neithmorenorless.blogspot.com , he does good reports on it

buzoncrime said...

bmore---the scenario you outline is one result that I am concerned might happen. If you are unfamiliar with the story of Bernhard Goetz, which happened many years ago in New York City, that is very close to what happened on a subway, no girl friend present, though. (Wikepedia has a good synopsis of the incident.) Many guys now are carrying blades to protect themselves, also.

Rather be biking---: sorry, the link you gave doesn't seem to work. But I get your point: this stuff is happening all over. I'm careful where I ride my bike, and have my valuables in a fanny pack on me, instead of in my bike's pack. Afraid of getting "banked", knocked off my bike, and my valuables going away with the bike.

RatherBeBiking said...

Here's a better link : http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/archives/2009/06/beating.php

Andymon said...

I figured out that it's neithermorenorless.blogspot.com . And philly.com has reported some similar incidents over the past few weeks, involving huge numbers coordinating by cell phone or antisocial networking site ourspace.com.

Why would a folding knife under the legal limit (3-4", varies by jurisdiction) be cause for arrest? Defending yourself with one is a risky act in Bodymore of course, it probably will be nationwide once Obama packs the court with thug huggers.

Human Head Soccer! Get in on it!

Anonymous said...

Oh noes it's happening to Hopkins employees now.

The following message is being forwarded on behalf of Corporate Security.

Assault (Off-Campus)

2000 Block of E. Baltimore St.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009, Approx. 3:45 p.m.

While en route to his car parked off campus, a JHH employee was knocked to the ground from behind by three (3) African American males. The suspects continued to assault him and then fled the scene heading westbound on E. Baltimore Street and northbound on Washington Street. Campus security and the Baltimore City Police Department were notified. A search of the area by Corporate Security and responding police met with negative results. An assault report was taken by the Baltimore City Police Department. The victim was not seriously injured and declined medical treatment.

3 African American males; approx. 16-18 years of age; approx. 5' 10" and 160 lbs; wearing green t-shirts and dark pants.

Anonymous said...

According to reader comments on wash post (re the Crofton "manslaughter") and the Village Voice blog above (iirc), the little darlings are all walking around with brass knuckles and knives. Oh, and someone in Baltimore got a brack thrown at him and then chased by a gang of yutes with bricks and metal pipes. I think that was on the sun local talk forum. What a cesspool.

Anonymous said...

Well, a brack can hurt almost as badly as a brick!

Bmore said...


I looked up Goetz in Wiki...im kind of surprised he got off, since he was never actually hit or touched! Ide say doing 8 months for an illegal hand gun and 4 attempts is a heck of a deal...if the handgun was registered he would have done no time lol...

But lets be honest, the more educated and bright one is, the more more he/she knows that they cannot be truly safe in any part of this city...dont get me wrong, i know that anything can happen anywhere and at anytime, but in Baltimore things seem different..ive lived in DC and Chicago and those places are TOUGH but you still feel safe in a "safe area", if that makes any sense (dc may be an exception due to the National Mall stickups and the lawyers who had his throat slashed in Gtown couple years back).... but Its almost a "quiet fear" here, amongst those who reside in some real tough hoods, all the way to the young professionals in fells points, fed hill etc etc...and lets face it, the ones doing the banking know what their victims in fed hill and all the swanky places will tell the police: "young black kid, jeans,corn rows or short hair..oh yea and about 10 of'em"....cmon that wont find SQUAT....i "BELIEVE" these events could warrant a concealed firearms law in Baltimore, if it can get some serious national attention! I mean cmon, what other city has to worry about dead bodies and vicious gang assaults @ there number 1 and main tourist attraction?!?!? why else would anyone visit baltimore? the inner harbor? its overrated to begin with if you ask me...a new law could potentially SAVE the city (at least the decent areas)...


The formula for CHAOS is at hand my friends: a shorthanded police force with low morale (and Buz i know a cop who comes to the same barbershop i go to, he was saying some cops actually SLEEP through most of there night shift!)..neighborhoods are very close to each other, providing EASY targets aka unarmed white/spanish people lol...corruption in the top brass, a shit ton of drugs and guns, NO parenting (people say this has been going on for decades but if you ask me it has gotten alot WORSE)..the spanish gangs are gearing up, i have them being an ISSUE by next summer...and oh yea... schools out.

Anonymous said...

Notice that the Hopkins employee's assailants were dressed identically, like fucking Droogs. I've read that about other incidents as well, the harder to identify anyone.

helix said...


You need to get a grip! Baltimore has problems, but things are better than they've been in the past 10 years or so.

What I can't understand is why people who are completely miserable and fed up with the city (whether it is for real or perceived reasons), just don't leave it and move on.

There's not going to be a meltdown. Stuff like this happens at the beginning of every summer. Sometimes its the motorcycle thugs, this time its "banking". What will happen is that inner harbor will get more cops, that stupid bar in the belvedre will get shut down and things will stabilize.

Bmore said...


i pretty sure i have a grip of whats going on, im in west baltimore...and i dont plan on "getting out"..but whats wrong with discussing trends that are occurring?

Things have gotten better in the last 10 years? maybe to someone who doesnt know better..last i check the rising GANG issue is a PROBLEM that wasnt there 10 years ago...a huge problem...and the inner harbor area is getting worse! not better in the past 10 years...

If everyone who had issues with whats going on left the city then Baltimore would be a wasteland...so before you tell some one to get a grip you should realize whats going on in the streets of baltimore and ask yourself 2 questions :

1) Are you asleep?

2)Do you live in the county or somewhere that has you obviously missing what is going on?


Bmore said...

one thing i forgot to mention...a complete "meltdown" doesn't happen in one day like you see in the Terminator movies..it takes several years, and you better believe the wheels are in motion, maybe not for something MUCH worse, but just enough to hold the murders up and maybe even increase them a bit, all while increasing random attacks and making Bmore much less of a desirable place to live for those looking for a home, after that goes on for a while your left with...Detroit...so if you really want people who are fed up to leave you might want to think about the consequences.

helix said...

While I understand your intense fear and dread, bmore, I just don't see how its going solve anything.

Crime is largely a matter of perception. How do you know that inner harbor is "getting worse" than it was 10 years ago? You don't. You might see a few high profile incidents on the news, but does that really mean much? All it takes is a few incidents of innocent people getting attacked, and all of a sudden, people have the impression that the city is under siege. IT IS NOT.

The inner harbor area has seen quite a lot of improvement. There's a whole new part of town in Harbor East, across the water many more new residents in several new large developments.

As for "missing what is going"... I am not "asleep". I am very aware of crime and always look for ways to understand it and deal with it in practical ways. I have to go with what I see as a city resident. 8 years ago where I live and in many other areas, there was a lot of squalor. I remember being frustrated walking down the street in the evening because it seemed that virtually every person I passed was either a junkie or somebody who looked like they just got out of jail. Is it different now? Yes.

buzoncrime said...

Well, ratherbebiking, your link is scary; the only difference is that in Tompkins Square Park in NYC, the gist I got is that the were mostly attacking addicts and homeless. Here, our courageous criminals attack young professionals (along with all sorts of folks we never hear about).

Andymon---Unless I have more evidence, I don't think the kind of trouble we've experienced here is that coordinated, 4th of July, excepted.
And yes, the incidents in Philadelphia were similar in some way, but much more serious--bordering on rioting. Nobody here has, in these crowd things, been pulled people out of cars, and rammed cars into poles, etc.
Um, just because ourspace is a predominantly African-American networking site, doesn't mean it is also anti-social.

Generally, deadly weapons are of 2 kinds: concealed or used to assault someone. (Two different charges). Thus pen-knifes, explicitly allowed under Maryland law are ok; however, it would still be a deadly weapon if used to attack someone. The knives I'm talking about are not pen-knives. Many have longer blades, or are razors. However, folks are carrying them clipped to their pockets: perhaps making a case that they are not, in fact, "concealed".
The nature of these attacks are such that unless you are ready with your weapon beforehand, it will already be too late, because you will be unexpectedly hit. I'm not sure you could really get to your weapon in time. So, unfortunately, the best strategy, if at all possible, is avoidance.
Don't know about thug huggers in the Federal courts; they put plenty of thugs away where they don't wanna be.

RatherBeBiking said...

buz - some of the more recent attacks around TSP in Manhattan have been on similar young professional types, or even those who look like the might put up a fight. The guy in one of the more recent attacks said he 'took two of them down' with him.

Anyway, I'll be back in Baltimore in early September (school) and I look forward to reading more here.

RatherBeBiking said...

( I don't look forward to more innocent people getting attacked by worthless thugs, but I acknowledge it'll happen again )

buzoncrime said...

Thanks, Ratherbe!
Can I take a guess that you go to MICA?

Sounds like other cities are having the same sorts of problems as here.

Most bankings don't ever make Compstat's radar, and most probably are never even reported.