North End Feast Experience Problems With Youth Gangs

Boston Police responded to many incidents that occurred at both the Fisherman’s and Saint Anthony’s Feasts mainly relating to teenage gang activities of aggression and underage drinking.

Teenage gangs, underage drinking and aggression is not new to the North End, especially at feasts. It has occurred several times in the past.

Police arrested a 19-year-old from out of town, charging him with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and underage ingestion in public.

They also responded to several other incidents involving gang activity.

Apparently, the feast was shut down for about 15 minutes during some kind of altercation between the police and teenagers near the bandstand.

Feast co-chairman Danny Puccio told the Boston Herald, “The feast was close for quarter of an hour and went on as usual.”

He told the newspaper, “I’m the chairman and you can quote me, that’s all-false information.”

“There has been a lot of youngsters surrounding the band,” Ralph Raves who was managing the Sea Level Raw Bar. He described them as aggressive and elbow to elbow.

Raves claimed he, “Picked up about 50 nip bottles on the street as youngsters have been underage ingesting.”

The following week at Saint Anthony’s Feast was no different as Police once again had to deal with teenage problems.

Reportedly, the feast had to shut down on Saturday about 9 PM and Sunday about 10 PM due to overcrowding creating a public safety problem.

On Sunday, when a large group of teens were not allowed to enter through a security barrier, where backpacks were being checked for alcohol, they barged their way through.

Several other incidents involving teenagers carrying other teens on their shoulders created problems with other feast goers attempting to navigate their way through the feast.

There were teens jumping on cars and fighting on the outskirts of the feast near Steriti Skating Rink.

Many residents describe them as, “Extreme aggressive and intimidating.”

One feast goer said she, “Has been going to the feast all her life and never seen so many people and Police.”

A lifelong North End resident said, “There were groups of twenty (20) or more pushing their way through the crowd.”

Every year the societies meet with various city departments and Police before the feasts begin to discuss safety issues and any other problems that could occur and prepare for any potential incidents to make the festivals an enjoyable and safety community events.

Apparently, teenage gangs disrupted many places but residents basically believe the police did the best job they could under trying circumstances.

This is not the first-time youth gangs and underage drinking has taken place in the North End feasts and in the community in general.

Residents have an opportunity to discuss public safety issues at a Boston Police North End Public Safety meeting held the first Thursday of every month with BPD Community Officer Frank Ciampa, held at the Nazzaro Community Center, 30 North Bennet Street.

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