Teens Attack 3 Docs; Ear Sliced

Detectives are trying to track down a group of teens they believe attacked three Yale-New Haven Hospital internal medicine residents in Wooster Square.

Two separate attacks occurred there shortly after midnight on Oct. 27.

The first occurred on Chapel Street near Academy Street. Two 31-year-old internists serving in a Yale-New Haven residency training program were walking from a party when 20 teens set on them.

Five of the teens were on bikes, the rest on foot, according to Lt. Jeff Hoffman. He said the teens pushed one of the internists, a man, to the ground, then an attacker in a ski mask repeatedly kicked and punched him. The upper part of one of his ears was sliced off in the attack; the victim wasn’t sure how that happened.

He was taken to the hospital, where his ear was sewn back together.

The group didn’t steal anything from him.

One of the teens grabbed the other internist, a woman, punched her in the face, then made off with her wallet, Kate Spade purse, and Samsung droid cell phone, according to Lt. Hoffman. She did not suffer serious physical injuries, Hoffman said.

Moments later five to six teens attacked a 32-year-old internist from the same Yale-New Haven program on Chapel near Olive. The teens punched him in the face, then took off running, Hoffman said. Paramedics treated him at the scene for injuries to his mouth.

Detectives believe members of the same group of teens committed both acts, according to Sgt. Al Vazquez, head of the police department’s major crimes unit. He said the three internists had attended the same party.

Police haven’t been able to identify any members of the group yet but are actively following leads, according to Vazquez.

“Apple Pickers” Arrested

Meanwhile, police have made arrests in three separate instances of “Apple-picking”—the theft of people’s iPhones or other cell phones. Such thefts account for an estimated 30 percent of New Haven’s street robberies these days.

The three incidents occurred last week and took place in the Wooster Square/downtown areas, according to Lt. Rebecca Sweeney, top cop in the district. She said the incidents all involved groups of kids on bikes. Yale police helped city cops in all three incidents.

For block-by-block year-to-date crime info, check the Independent’s crime map.

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posted by: Billy on November 8, 2012  11:57pm

Where are these kids’ parents?  How do 20 kids get together at midnight to pounce on and brutally assault two adults walking down the street, then some of the same kids pounce on and assault another adult, without some parent or guardian catching on and intervening? 

If the parents or guardians are working or otherwise occupied, they need to figure out someone else to keep on eye on their kids.  This feels like a complete breakdown of parenting to me.

I’m sure there are some other factors in play here, but lack of parental supervision, and proper teaching of how to behave and have respect, are at the core of these incidents.

These incidents have no place in our community.  Some parents and guardians need to wake up, and stop foisting their lack of interest in their offspring onto innocent people.  The results are terrible, as these incidents demonstrate.

posted by: Wildwest on November 9, 2012  8:06am

I’m usually one to put quite a bit of blame on parents for this kind of behavior but when packs of kids get together like this late at night cops should be all over them. How a group this large can roam the city without an eye from police is shocking to me. No leads??? I’d say Esserman better step it up on the community policing.

posted by: FrontStreet on November 9, 2012  9:05am

And just Tuesday morning, I was so proud of being a New Havener as I stood in line to vote out in Fair Haven, with people of all ages, race, gender, and wealth. 

And so discouraging to see that despite all the progress, the problem of street crime, quality of life issues (dirt bikes!) and groups of young people devoted to mindless destruction and violence are still endemic.

posted by: MotiS on November 9, 2012  9:50am

The attack on the doctors sounds like a gang initiation rite of passage. This is not acceptable.

posted by: Long Time NH Resident on November 9, 2012  12:26pm

I agree with Mike M WHERE ARE THE POLICE ? This is a large group of kids to go unnoticed. Especially at midnight - oh yeah shift change.
Just another justifiable reason to carry a firearm- Legally !
GUARDIAN ANGELS PLEASE HELP !! The police obviously can’t handle this situation on their own or aren’t trying hard enough to look into it. This has been going on since the summer. Curfew anyone??- Bridgeport did it.
These types of kids like to brag about their street cred.
Too bad it took a YALE related incident to finally hit the top of the list.

Maybe we should organize large groups of residents to patrol and keep these kids in line.
If the police can’t take care of it it’s up to the people who live here to protect ourselves.

posted by: Curious on November 9, 2012  3:32pm

Completely unacceptable.  Roving gangs of thugs, attacking multiple people?  Not okay.

posted by: PH on November 9, 2012  3:38pm

Awful stuff.  I have to admit that I look over to Farnum Courts and wonder if the perpetrators came from there.  Having been there late at night before, I can attest that kids run roughshod over that place at all hours of the day.  It is a depressing sinkhole of poverty and parental oversight is limited.  Tearing down such concentrated havens of poverty has got to help reduce the crime rate in the Wooster Square area.  I know that people will just move or be relocated into other neighborhoods, but it is the concentrated effects of poverty that are most pernicious.

posted by: ElmJackCity on November 9, 2012  4:30pm

The patrolmen are on Crown St. at that time.

posted by: Cinderella on November 9, 2012  6:36pm

The police are on Crown Street and Temple Street and any place students are gathered to party, whether they be Yale or UNH or Southern or QU, in order to make sure they don’t get mugged as they stumble out of the bars. Wooster Square is pretty and historic but has never been safe at night, ever, since I’ve lived in NH from 1972. Farnam is the BIG problem and gangs are everywhere. Kids on bikes roam through Westville, too. Better lighting, more cars and foot patrols and no accelerated rehabilitation for Juveniles or adults.

posted by: Edward_H on November 10, 2012  7:59am

“Meanwhile, police have made arrests in three separate instances of “Apple-picking” “

From where did this term originate? With the thieves, the cops or the media? I find it hard to believe young savages have started using this term to describe their activities. I can see cops coming up with this term as a way to describe how easy robbing clueless people unfamiliar with an “urban” environment. I can also see the media conjuring up this “apple picking” term in order to get attention.

posted by: Resident on November 11, 2012  8:08pm

The city needs a curfew and needs teens to be legally required to carry state ID Otherwise there is nothing police can do with an observed roving gang of teens until a crime is reported (when it’s too late). What can the group be charged with. Loitering? Tough if they’re moving around. Disorderly conduct? Maybe. But it will require custodial arrest for all because these kids carry no ID. So now you have 10 or so (usually) minority children going to jail for walking on the sidewalk.  Can you feel the outrage coming? The protests? Curfew makes it cut and dry. IDs keep them from telling cops they’re name is Gofaq Yousef and they live “down the street”

posted by: Long Time NH Resident on November 12, 2012  12:05pm

At resident. If I could remember how many times I was arrested in New Haven as a teenager for walking up the street, waiting for a bus, walking by Cutlers,or on Broadway or Wall street, etc.. I’m sure it would be more than 10 times. and that was only cause we looked different. Never once did the charges stick- always dismissed.
No excuse needed. its called disorderly conduct and the cops can do it anytime. Times haven’t changed that much. Lets see some good old police practices back in effect.

posted by: just my view on November 12, 2012  3:43pm

@Billy - Parents? Really? You are not that naive are you?

@Edward H - some background:

NHPD remains handcuffed to combat this… as soon as they start targeting these “kids” - the profiling claims start flying. Same when they try to police the illegal dirt bikes. Let the PD do their jobs!

posted by: ElmJackCity on November 13, 2012  1:10pm

The issue of kids on bikes is affecting the overall quality of living in New Haven.  The problem has spread from Wooster St. to Cherry Ann St. into Fair Haven.  Homeowners are becoming afraid to freely enter and exit their homes; robberies and assaults prevail.

Do not tell me that the New Haven Police Department cannot develop a strategy to combat a violent threat to the normal activities of your average citizen or homeowner.

Talking to these kids does not require an arrest to be made.  It is important for the officers to communicate their interest in upholding the peace.  Police are not on the payroll merely to await a crime then investigate.  Preventing violence and crime should be the first step, and more foot patrols in the areas most in need would make a difference. 

This does not remove the need of parents to intervene; to be parents.

However, something must be done by New Haven Police about this issue.