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Boston To Step Up Youth Services To Address Attacks By Group Of Kids

BOSTON (CBS) - Boston Mayor Michelle Wu vows to step up youth services to get to the root of what's prompting a group of kids to violently attack people in different neighborhoods around Boston recently. "These are children who need support and services and they're connected to adults who also need to have some accountability," Wu said Friday.

The latest incident was at attack on the Boston Common Wednesday at around 6:30 pm right outside the Earl of Sandwich shop. Police say the suspects were five kids between 11 and 14-years-old. "Definitely get them prosecuted," said General Manager of the Earl of Sandwich, Christopher Tinney. "I know they're young kids, so they might have trouble doing that, but something needs to be done obviously," he said.

According to the Boston Police report, two Suffolk University students saw the group swearing at a woman and child. The college students "…told the group they should behave better and leave the woman alone…"

They say the kids turned on one of them and "…began punching…and knocked her glasses off her face. She then stepped on the glasses before punching her again." Police say they summonsed two of the kids to juvenile court, but because they're so young, they won't face formal charges.

It has Suffolk students like Brieajah Ayers carrying mace. "You'd never expect a little child to like come and attack you. It's weird to me, and it makes me uneasy because I live here," she said.

Police believe the same group of juveniles was involved in attacks at a Roxbury McDonalds Sunday. Bottles and rocks were thrown at customers and employees. Police say they returned the next day, swinging a metal cane. A 13-year-old is facing charges in juvenile court in that case.

Police are also linking the kids to damage in Downtown Crossing last week. Windows were shattered, and a woman was beaten.

"We're looking to make sure that when we do know about specific identities of people, that there's a very closely targeted intervention that will provide those supports," said Mayor Wu.

She said the city plans to extend hours at community centers and focus on mental health services for children.

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