June 11, 2002 – Police apprehended eight minors on St. Croix over the weekend in a sweep of night spots frequented by young people in what officials described as a continuing initiative to reduce crime and ensure safe streets.
Police Chief Novelle Francis said four minors were taken into custody on Friday and another four were picked up on Saturday. Lt. Gregory Bennerson, commander of the Criminal Investigation Bureau, said the Friday arrests were at a Latin disco on King Street in Christiansted and the Saturday ones were outside Glimpses Night Club in Castle Coakley.
Those detained included boys and girls, the youngest being 14, they said, and a parent or guardian was required to pick up each youngster at the police station.
By law, anyone under the age of 17 cannot be out after 10 p.m. unless supervised by an adult. Bennerson said the law requires young people to carry legal identification, such as a driver's license or a school I.D., and "we are strictly enforcing that."
In a previous sweep, Bennerson said, a felon was picked up with a firearm. "We are trying to keep children safe," he said. "Parents should know where their children are and whom they are associating with … These guys prey on kids with drugs and firearms."
Also taking part in the sweeps were the Police Youth Investigation Unit, the Special Response Team and enforcement personnel of the Licensing and Consumer Affairs Department. The curfew monitoring will continue, not only of youths out after hours but of establishments allowing them on the premises, Bennerson said.
"We are considerate of chaperoned activities like proms and graduation parties, but they must be chaperoned," he said.
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