Key West police early this morning cracked down on teens caught throwing eggs and engaging in other dangerous, destructive activities during the traditional Key West High School “coffin night”, said Key West Police Lt. Alan Newby, head of the night watch.
Officers issued a number of tickets, including written curfew violation warnings, and turned the teens over to their parents, Newby said.
It all started with a four-car crash at about 2 a.m. on Atlantic Boulevard. Newby reported about 40 kids, all dressed in black, were packed into the cars and appeared to be headed for some “coffin night” activities, a tradition among Key West High School students at the beginning of the school year. Newby said that it was chaos when police arrived, with the teens running around in the street and scattering.
Some of those kids wound up at Bayview Park, throwing eggs at passing cars. They all fled when police showed up, but Newby caught four parked nearby, apparently waiting for others. He took them into custody and turned them over to their parents.
Police then picked up more kids, issuing curfew violation warnings to those 16 years old or under, Newby said. Officers also brought in some teens for shooting paint ball guns as part of the coffin night activities. Notices to appear in court or juvenile citations were also issued and all the kids were turned over to their parents.
The parents, who were called out by police in the wee hours, were upset with their kids but seemed to appreciate the police taking charge of the situation, Newby said. “The curfew ordinance helped us tonight,” he added. “I plan to use it effectively to deal with these kids in future situations of this nature.
“Hopefully the word will spread real quickly among the kids that the cops will take them in!”
Newby said police don’t want to discourage the kids from having innocent fun, but, police must draw the line when juveniles violate the law or create a public safety concern.