Sunday, June 28, 2009

Barricade Situation in Hampden!

Buz has just returned from visiting an ongoing barricade situation in the 3600 blk. of Paine Street in Hampden. Details are sketchy, but police have all of 36th Street closed from Chestnut Avenue to Roland Avenue--almost all of that closed to pedestrians, as well as cars. Elm Avenue and 36th Street has been established as the command post. Several command vehicles are there, plus 2 emergency services trucks, and a big black van serving as the headquarters of the negotiators. EMS personnel and a fire truck from the Hampden station were standing by just in case.
Major Ross Buzzoro, the district commander was there in his civvies (he gets no extra money for coming in on Sunday night to oversee the festivities).

It appears that one old Hampden man, who has an affection for cool, refreshing beverages, and in his spare time maintains Redman's Hall on Hickory, was being picked on by some neighborhood punks. He skirmished with several of them. We heard several people say that the kids in the area are nasty and out of control. Anyway, one of the fathers of the punks apparently intervened ready to beat the old man up. The old guy supposedly went into the house, got a gun and a machete to even things up a bit.

Depending on who you spoke to, the inebriated gent waved the gun around and barricaded himself in the house, or grabbed one of the kids and made him come into the house with him--creating a hostage situation. I was unable to determine which it was, but police were in no hurry to force the issue, apparently.

A full squad of SWAT/QRT members was present and were surrounding the house. As three new SWAT officers arrived in an unmarked car and suited up in full regalia and went toward the scene, a few loud pops were heard! Shots? Tear gas? Nope. At an inopportune moment, some dumb-dumb not too far away, in an area filled with cops and tension decided to shoot off his illegal fireworks. {I say his, because the overwhelming majority of women are too smart to do this kind of stupid stuff.}

The event provoked a kind of Hampden street scene, with The Avenue closed to traffic. People were sitting on the middle of the street, walking dogs and kids, talking and gawking. Frazier's on the Avenue had a band, and though they were inside and the doors were closed, they were so loud it created a strange atmosphere out on the street. Buz couldn't help but notice, though how some of the "original" Hampden young adults/teenagers could barely talk intelligible English, as they talked to each other or on their cell phones. It was sort of a guttural street mumbling, more of a series of animated grunts, with "yeah", and "you know" sprinkled heavily. Buz thought he heard one ordering some drugs on the phone, and another smoking a joint. Oh, well, I guess they're not really worried about their SAT scores anyway. It's the street that's where it's at, you know? Jobs? Whassat? We can always go work in a warehouse somewhere, ya' know? But, Baltimore is a great city, with lots of different people, and Buz hopes the situation is resolved peacefully with the old guy getting a month's vacation on Fallsway.