Tuesday, June 16, 2015

This is What Happens When a Fort Thomas Neighborhood is Vandalized



A couple of things run through your mind when it's after midnight, you're home alone, cop cars are lining your street, and an officer is going door to door with a flashlight. For example, am I safe here by myself? And why does my dog bark at the wind, but was quiet as a mouse while cops were circling the driveway with flashlights? And why did Zayn really quit One Direction? Okay, so that last one didn't actually cross my mind at the time, but it's still a valid question.

All joking aside, eleven cars getting vandalized on one street is a serious matter. Three juveniles spray painted eleven vehicles on Chalfonte Place/Chalfonte Court during the late hours of June 13, 2015. Some had stripes painted along the sides of the vehicles while others were covered in offensive words and drawings, which likely would have prohibited the owners from driving their vehicles to work or other public places. “They spray painted from front to back. Three juveniles were caught and released to their parents. Sgt. Moening and Officers Brown and Peak were instrumental in responding and completing the investigation in the same night. They were also able to notify all the owners of the damaged property,” said Chief Mike Daly.





But here's the real story: many neighbors gathered together in the early morning hours of June 14 to scrub the spray paint off the cars. That's Fort Thomas for you. It's not the kids that were running around the neighborhood late at night with cans of spray paint vandalizing cars.

I'm not trying to downplay the atrocious behavior of the juveniles. They absolutely deserve to be punished for their actions. But at the end of the day, spray paint on cars isn't the end of the world. Chalfonte residents were able to scrub most of the spray paint off their cars following the incident. Fort Thomas isn't perfect, and it we never will be. But guess what - that's okay. What makes Fort Thomas still a great place is the people helping each other when necessary, and making sure that their neighbors and friends are taken care of. When something happens in Fort Thomas, we work together to fix it as best we can. We see it over and over again in our community and here on Fort Thomas Matters – the community working together to help a family in need, finding lost pets, raising money for a worthy cause, and even scrubbing spray paint off cars in the middle of the night. The list goes on and on.

Some Chalfonte residents decided to look at the incident as a teaching moment for their own children. Explaining the vandalism to their children allowed for an open dialogue about right vs. wrong. "I hope parents use this as an opportunity to talk to their kids about making good decisions, considering the consequences of their actions and taking pride in their community. Vandalism is unacceptable. Period," said Abbe Kuhn. 

The vandalism that occurred on Chalfonte Place and Chalfonte Court was an isolated incident, but that doesn't mean that other people won't deal with vandalism during the summer months. So what do we do? Well, speak up if you see something and have each others' backs. Summer allows for more opportunities for incidents like what occurred on Chalfonte. Sgt. Moening discussed with Chalfonte residents the extra precautions that are in place for the city. He told the neighbors that there are multiple police cars and bike cops patrolling the streets each night. I spent many years living in big cities, and the saying “If you see something, say something” was drilled into my brain. That same sentiment was reinforced by Sgt. Moening.

If someone hadn't spotted the juveniles and called the police, the residents of Chalfonte likely would not have known the vandalism had occurred until the following morning. That would have resulted in the spray paint drying completely on the vehicles, and the 11 cars vandalized likely would have all required work from professionals in order to fix the damage. Additionally, the juveniles would not have been caught if the call hadn't been placed to 911. That likely would have caused the Chalfonte neighborhood to be worried about their safety, and concerned that they could be targeted for more random acts of criminal mischief. Luckily for Chalfonte residents, the problem was dealt with quickly thanks to the vigilance of a concerned neighbor.

Fort Thomas Matters will be investigating further about the vandalism that is occurring in Fort Thomas. Check back soon for more information on the issue. 

7 comments:

  1. This is a nice article, in that the emphasis is on our cohesive, do the right thing community consensus which accounts for our personal best, stellar performing schools, as well as our inviting sense of community. Fort Thomas is a fantastic place to live and raise kids. But we are not perfect and our tendency to coddle our kids when they cross the line is one major flaw. The high standards that we achieve in Fort Thomas should make misbehavior LESS acceptable here, not something at which we wink. Sending the kids home with parents? Wrong answer! Casually vandalizing a street full of cars, how many $100's of thousands are we talking? A night in the joint should be mandatory....for starters! "But at the end of the day, spray paint on cars is not the end of the world."????? Seriously? In a community like Fort Thomas, what I would believe to be much more serious in terms of damage than portrayed, not to mention the audacity of these poorly raised kids, is perilously close to "the end of the world" and should be dealt with in a more substantive fashion than a wink and a slap on the wrist. At the end of the day, Fort Thomas is, indeed, the quintessential fantastic community in which to live, but when we look the other way by making lame excuses defending poor behavior, be we pundit or parent, we demean us all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you are so right ! More and more kids misbehave and parents excuse the behavior. " oh they didn't mean to do it " "It was an accident " - very seldom is there a consequence , most of the time it's a little talk . I hope this doesn't come back to haunt me by stating my opinion, but the generation raising kids now , all seem to have an excuse for their child's misbehavior . Step up to the plate ! Don't let the kids run the household because you don't want them to feel bad, or cry.

      Delete
  2. I live in Fort Thomas and during Spring break this year our house was "egged" while we were home. My husband saw the three boys run away and I called the police. Luckily the police were able to get to them quickly because there was a police on patrol nearby and they caught them because they still had eggs with them. The police told us that it was three young boys. We didn't press charges, but the police told us that they would inform their parents. I found out later that other families came home from spring break to find that their houses were egged too. At first, I thought it was silly to call the police over eggs, but I'm glad I did to avoid more potential damage the boys could have caused throughout the night. Sometimes eggs can cause a lot of trouble to cars and houses.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The kids being released to their parents doesn't mean charges won't be filed, does it? I would hope that spray painting 11 cars results in more than a "teachable moment".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous - thanks for your comment. All three juveniles involved were charged with first-degree criminal mischief.

      Delete
  4. No one, "looked the other way or made lame excuses defending poor behavior." Remanding the children to the custody of their parents was perfectly acceptable. I can't imagine a scenario where any of the three would pose a flight risk and a mandatory night in the joint, as you propose, is a bit cruel and unusual. For anyone to claim that spray painting cars, "is perilously close to the end of the world" could probably use a healthy dose of perspective. The kids have been charged and will be punished as the court sees fit, which will be far from, "a wink and a slap on the wrist," I'm sure. Let's not forget as well that we're talking about kids here. They sometimes use poor judgement and make mistakes. You don't know them, you don't know who they are or what they deal with or whether or not their parents are good or bad people. Let's leave the judgment to those we assign to wearing black robes in the court room and try not to cast stones.

    Oh, and the "teachable moment" was for the children of those living on the street, not the perpetrators.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another person not wanting the child to have to be punished. Making excuses for them . Stop it . When they get older and are still making poor choices, Mom and Dad can't get them out of it, the will wish the had taught them right from wrong when the we younger.

      Delete