Police: Hundreds of teens at local rec center cause disturbance

- Philadelphia police had a lot of teens on their hands, Sunday night. Starting at about 10 p.m., hundreds of young people ran through the streets and into traffic.

Police estimate 300 to 400 teens were gathered in the streets around the Lonnie Young Recreation Center in Germantown.

This is the second Sunday night teens gathered at Lonnie Young Rec Center, hurling objects at police as they showed up.

Monday morning, FOX 29’s Lauren Johnson spoke to someone who lives in the neighborhood and works part-time at the center who says he’s frustrated with the negative attention.  He said instead of blaming the teenagers, blame lack of money and social media.

According to the man who did not want to be identified, budget cuts mean no neighborhood programs for kids to enjoy, so they use social media to create meet up spots and innocently hang out.

According to him, police are not nice to the kids, intimidate them, and make the situation much worse.

Our cameras could hear kids speaking loudly and cussing at the officers, and the officers trying to move them along after reports they crowded the streets, blocked traffic, and forced SEPTA buses off their routes.

This isn't the first time this happened this summer. Three weeks ago, on July 16, police responded to a similar disturbance call.

At the time, Councilwoman Cindy Bass said, "We need to do much more."

Bass is the chairman of the committee that oversees the city's park and rec system and said "It is my job to figure out what we need and how to get resources directed to those who need it most."

City of Philadelphia students will head back to class on Sept. 5.

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