EUCLID, Ohio (WJW) — The Fox 8 I-Team obtained video that shows teens threatening police, the new evidence showing how teenagers committing crimes keep getting bolder.
Last Monday, a teen threatened a Euclid officer several times after police and security officials told the teen and his friends he had to leave the library.
The 17-year-old male told the officer not to touch him. He swore several times at the officer and threatened to assault him.
Police Chief Scott Meyer says the video shows what his officers are up against with even the youngest criminals. He said just a few days after the incident at the library more kids led police on yet another high speed chase in another stolen car. The vehicle crashed and two of the suspects fled. One suspect, a 14-year-old girl, was apprehended and detained.
Euclid police records show a 320% increase in receiving stolen property charges involving juveniles in 2023 from 2022.
Overall, juvenile crime is at a 31% increase from last year.
“I think the juvenile behavior is just completely out of control,” Meyer said. He added earlier this month a 12-year-old boy was arrested for having a stolen handgun at a park.
Captain Mitch Houser said many times the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center will not house teens that are arrested on violent crimes.
“I believe stiffer sentences need to be given to violent teens,” the chief said. “I really truly believe our juvenile justice system in Cuyahoga County is basically ineffective.”
The chief and Houser say police also need parents to hold their children accountable.
“It’s about accountability,” Houser said. “Police officers are here to keep the peace, to maintain safety, but we alone can’t solve the problem of juveniles acting this way. That has to come from home and also the juvenile justice system.”