Four St. Louis teenagers, including a pregnant 13-year-old, are in custody after a recent spate of attacks on innocent passersby in the city’s downtown area.
St. Louis police Capt. Daniel Howard told The Associated Press he doesn’t believe the attacks are related.
“They are only connected because they are so egregious and it is surprising to see young people acting this way,” Howard said. “They are both violent and disgusting.”
Police arrested a 15-year-old boy Thursday who, they say, was the ringleader in a Nov. 3 attack on a 32-year-old attorney who was badly beaten while walking home from work.
The lawyer told police a gang of about eight teenage boys surrounded him and asked him for money. When he refused, they attacked him, punching him in the face and knocking him to the ground, KMOX reports. The group took his cellphone and money and ran away.
The victim sustained multiple injuries including broken teeth and eye sockets.
A week prior to that incident, two women were attacked by a group of teenage girls in the same general area of downtown.
The first victim, a 22-year-old woman, was carrying groceries home around 6:50 p.m. on Oct. 25 when she was surrounded by four girls ranging in age from 12 to 14.
“The victim was walking west on Washington when four females approached her and one of the suspects punched her in the face,” the police report reads. “The other suspects then took her cellphone and attempted to grab her groceries. While (she was) on the ground, the suspects also kicked the victim.”
Police told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that about 10 minutes later the same group of girls attacked another woman just a few blocks away. The girls allegedly stole that victim’s cellphone as well, after punching her in the face and kicking her while she was on the ground.
“An area officer saw the females, and observed that they matched the description of the suspects responsible for the (other) incident,” reads the police report from that attack.
Police later arrested three girls — ages 12, 13 and 14 — for their involvement in the two attacks. The fourth suspect was not apprehended, police said.
Mayor Francis Slay’s chief of staff, Jeff Rainford, said the administration is monitoring the worrisome trend in the downtown area closely.
Police said they have stepped up patrols in the area.
All four teenagers were last reported to be in juvenile detention. Police were unable to release more details about the alleged attackers because they are minors.