Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fighting Crime with Hula Hoops

Look at all the people who aren't in the alley...because they got arrested.
Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman.

Over the past two weeks or so, neighbors on the 2600 block of 3rd and 4th Street had noticed quite a bit of traffic coming and going from the alley by the castle townhomes.  The activity had all the hallmarks of something nefarious:  someone who was pretty clearly a lookout/sentry, high volumes of cars that never stay for more than a few minutes, and quick exchanges with the long white tee crowd hanging out on either side of the alley.

But what raised my suspicions was something else entirely.  I often walk past here when I go hula hooping at Farview Park.  And on my way there and back many of the neighborhood kids who play in the parking lot will ask to try out my hoop.  I give each of them a turn, and show the kids how to do some of the basic hooping moves.  After a few minutes of this, the sentry would come over and tell me to move along and not play with the children.  Now what's the one reason why someone wouldn't want me hula hooping with their kids?

That's right, drugs.

In case my impeccable logic isn't immediately clear, allow me to elaborate...

The conversations essentially go like this.  Thug tells me I can't play with the kids and I need to move along.  I ask who he is to the kids, so I can establish some kind of relationship.  Thug says it doesn't matter, so move along.  I ask if there's a problem, and hey, maybe we can talk to each other like grown men and work things out.  Thug says the problem is that I need to move along.  I say I've lived on the block for years and these kids know me and like to hula hoop, so once again, who are you and can we resolve any differences.  Thug repeats the move along mantra.  Kids refuse to make eye contact with anyone during this exchange.  Not wanting to cause trouble for me or the kids, I do indeed go on my way.

The fact that this guy won't say a thing about who he is or the problem is quite telling.  The guy couldn't even come up with something as easy as, "I'm their uncle and I don't like a grown man gyrating like that in front of these kids."  (Gyrating is a big word though.)  And I love the thought that I'm screwing up drug deals by hula hooping with neighborhood youth.

That being said, I do try to be careful.  One night this week, a neighbor tried leaving the alley while the thugs had their deals going down.  The alley was blocked and he waited and waited, but nobody moved.  When he tapped his horn, several of the white tee crew came and stood in front of his car, menacing him as if HE were the one breaking the rule of law or society.  One 911 call later, and five people were in cuffs.  Thanks, fourth precinct!

The pictures above were taken later that evening, when the alley was empty for the first time in weeks.  I've been playing phone tag with Sherman and Associates, as they are the owners of the building.  The activity is on the radar screen of our CCP/Safe liaison, CM Hofstede, Lt. Hiemerl, and the East Gateway Partnership.  We're hoping to nip this in the bud.  Even if we do, there's still work to be done.  Later that same evening I saw deals happening at the corners of 25th and 4th, as well as 23rd and 4th.  Maybe there's some kids down the street who would like to learn how to hula hoop.


  1. Hmmm? Honky with a hula hoop (1). Honky with a .308 dialed in at 400 yards (0).

  2. Some unknown stranger with a hula hoop, playing with neighborhood minors? I'd tell ya to move along too, right after I called 911.
    Mama should tell those kids not to talk to strangers.

  3. A first day of summer shoutout to all anonameasses who can't read or comprehend Jack Shit(Dumb Shits' brother from another mother). I believe that Mr. Skrenes informed his readers that he knew these kids. I guess that blows your theory out of the water along with your rubber duckie and retractable butt plug. You know, the one that seals the mucous membrane that welcomes people to your inner feceiatic like world. Honky is a word derived from Bohemians that empathysed and assisted Black civil rights workers in the 40s and 50s. Also called Bohunks, the name was shortened to hunky and then it morphed into the present day pronunciation of said Honky. Honky twice if you agree you just learned that but please do not lean on the horn lest you morph into one of those Hornies cuz' there ain't no tellin' what a horney hula hoopin' honky might be hatchin'. Anyhow, the sociopathic white t-shirt wearing rejects from tainted vaginas will be dead or incarcerated and new ones will proudly step forward in their oversized Fruit of the one of a kind stankin' new shirt and impress one and all with keen fashion awareness and bird like chests. Keep up the good work, Jeff,...hey how about teaching the children Archery with a Cross-Bow? Whoooosh! Good Day, except to all white shirt wearin',perpetratin' a fraud domestic(?) dregs. P.S. Mr. Jack and Mr. Dumb Shit are made up names and not meant to insult any actual Shits' that are out there.

  4. Thanks, Boathead. And I do believe I also pointed out that it would be understandable for an adult to at least wonder about someone hula hooping with their kids (or kids they're related to or responsible for). But in those cases, you'd think the adult would try and establish who they are. You know, like, "I'm their father and I just don't like you so scram." The whole point of describing what happened was that I didn't even get THAT.

    And it is pretty sad that someone is showing these kids something positive and then the thugs have to come along and show them the negative.


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