It’s amazing that the press in Baltimore finds time to report on this sort of thing considering all of the murders and government corruption they have to keep tabs on. But still, they persevere. There’s been another instance of violence with one of the so-called “squeegee kids” that prowl the city’s intersections trying to shake down drivers for money. And when you refuse their “services” you run the risk of verbal abuse at a minimum and possibly much more. That’s what happened to one unnamed woman who attempted to drive away after some of these “workers” approached her minivan. One of the men smashed the back window of her vehicle and when she got out to attempt to capture the extortionists on film, he hopped on a scooter and ran her over, sending her to the hospital. (Baltimore Sun)
The woman told police the squeegee worker broke the window when she attempted to drive away after being approached by a group cleaning windshields. According to the report from Baltimore police, she got out of her minivan to take photographs of the group, but the suspect got on a scooter and ran into her, knocking her to the ground.
Police said they used the city’s surveillance cameras to confirm the suspect shattered the rear window using his squeegee and then hit the woman with the scooter. She was taken to a hospital with a scrape and large contusion on her left leg.
Add this to the growing pile of police reports that put the lie to the commonly stated claim that these are just “kids” trying to earn an honest living. They are extortionists looking to shake people down using credible threats of violence.
To start with, this was no “kid.” The police were able to identify him using surveillance camera footage and later apprehend him. He’s 21 years old and already has a record of criminal activity. That’s typical of many of these squeegee people if you keep track of the police reports. And his willingness to immediately resort to violence when he doesn’t get what he wants speaks volumes.
Also, these are not “jobs” in any sense of the word. The woman did not solicit a temporary employee to wash the windows of her van. She was approached without an invitation by a group of intimidating men and had her vehicle vandalized and suffered injuries requiring hospital treatment when she failed to comply with their demands.
This is not an isolated incident. It’s a repeating pattern. The police have been dispatched to the most common squeegee activity areas to keep an eye on things, but they can’t be everywhere at once. (Not to mention that they have better things to be doing with their time, what with all the gangs running wild in Charm City.)
The interim mayor and his police chief need to be cracking down on this activity rather than coddling these thugs. There have already been several people assaulted and numerous vehicles damaged in just the first two months of the current year. And as long as these hoodlums know that the police won’t take their activities seriously they’ll keep on doing it. Also, as we learned from the successful broken windows policies in New York City in the 90s, ignoring smaller crimes creates a fertile breeding ground for bigger, more serious crimes. And it needs to come to an end.