Local/State

2 teens, 11-year-old plead guilty in flash mob attack

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Three juveniles pleaded guilty Monday in connection with a Center City flash mob attack.

An 11-year-old boy was released on house arrest with a GPS ankle bracelet while a 16-year-old and 17-year-old remained in custody.

One of the teenagers was referred to a residential school, and the other committed to Pennsylvania's most secure juvenile facility.

They all admitted to the roles they were responsible for, among them felony assault, robbery, conspiracy, and riot charges.

"The Juvenile Act allows you to commit for four years or until your 21st birthday, whichever comes first in respect to the 17 year old," said Assistant District Attorney Leslie Gomez.

The case first began on July 29 around 9:15 pm. Reports flooded in from victims and witnesses alike.

The prosecutor described how a mob of roughly two dozen teenagers roved Center City, attacking innocent people. Several of the victims appeared in court and felt the judgments were fair.

"The 11-year-old didn't know what he was doing and the oldest one had no good answer," said Jeremy Schenkel, one of the victims.

"I hope their families can also learn the effects of the behavior. It's not just a child issue, but a family's issue," said Joe Kennedy, another victim of the attacks.

The 11-year-old admitted to skipping out on an evening Bible Camp session without telling his mother. He ran into the 17-year-old on the playground, who convinced him to go downtown.

As for the older two, the prosecutor pointed to text messages and cell phone photos where they referred to themselves as part of the Young Money Gang.

"They were coming down to rumble, to fight with another group of young boys. The fight fell apart and the kids went off to Center City," said Gomez.

Earlier three teenagers who allegedly attacked a 36-year-old man on their way home from Mastery Charter School earlier that same day appeared in court.

The judge denied requests that they be released pending trial Sept. 6.

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Tags:
pennsylvania, philadelphia, center city, flash mob, riot, local/state, katherine scott
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