DAILY NEWS: Over two days of trials, 29 youths have been convicted for participating in flash mobs. All juveniles found delinquent yesterday face up to four years in a state facility, but most who pleaded guilty were sentenced to four weekends at a Poconos boot camp, 60 days of electronic monitoring and two years’ probation, and were ordered to take biweekly drug tests and to attend school every day on time. Those with prior convictions or other glaring problems in their backgrounds were sentenced to state facilities. Dougherty got creative with two teenagers who gave cops a hard time while being arrested. Besides their boot-camp sentences, he ordered each to spend 25 hours cleaning the bathrooms and washing cars at police stations. Another teen who was to be released to his mother was instead ordered back into custody after Dougherty caught him rolling his eyes at his mother. “It’s a new day, gentlemen,” the judge warned the other teens. “You will respect the parent who stands beside you or else you will not enjoy their home.” MORE
INQUIRER: After the last few days, however, few would dispute that Judge Kevin M. Dougherty shares a few candor genes with older brother John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty Jr., business manager of Local 98 of Electrical Workers Union. “I’m not playing. The days of civil unrest are over,” the judge warned 10 teenagers Monday. He found all 10 guilty of felony rioting and conspiracy for their roles in a Feb. 16 “flash mob” in Center City. That incident – teenagers drawn to one location by text messages or other social media – was one of a series of flash mobs over the past 10 months, and it featured 150 teenagers who had been expelled from the Gallery shopping mall later rampaging through Macy’s, fighting and breaking items. “You all want to play me and say you went down there shopping,” Dougherty told the teens. MORE
POLICE CHIEF RAMSEY: “I’m not in the social-work business here,” Ramsey said. “We are police officers, and we’re going to lock them up. . . . I’m not their mother and not their father. My job is to keep peace in the streets, and that’s what we’re going to do. We will have people out there to deal with it every single day, every single weekend if we need it.” MORE
PHILLY CLOUT: The city issued three warnings today on “flash mobs,” the social media driven gatherings of young people that have turned violent in Center City in recent weeks.
- Mayor Nutter, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and District Attorney Seth Williams warned that parents of youths arrested during the sudden riots will face court action as well. They said the state’s laws on juvenile justice allow for a parent to be required to complete punishments such as community services with a child found to be delinquent. Failure to do that could lead to contempt of court charges.
- Nutter said the special agent in charge of the local FBI office has offered to use federal powers to pursue people who use telecommunication devices to draw people to the riots. “Depending on what’s being communicated, the person risks possible violation of federal law,” Nutter said of the FBI offer to help. “They are taking these incidents very seriously.”
- Nutter said if the problem persist he will issue an executive order to create an earlier curfew for people under the age of 17 until City Council can make that rule permanent with new legislation. MORE
RELATED: Insiders confirm that [NBC]is interested in a flash mob/dance competition show from “The Biggest Loser” producers 3 Ball Entertainment. 3 Ball, in turn, is in talks to marry the format with Abdul and Ortega. According to sources familiar with the pitch, network execs were taken to a Burbank restaurant and shown a sizzle reel for the show. But as the tape ended, the eatery they were at suddenly came alive — as patrons, wait staff and chefs dropped what they were doing, got up and conducted a dance routine. Turns out 3 Ball had rented the restaurant out for the day, and hired dancers to pose as normal folks. “It was a big spectacle,” said an insider who attended one of the pitch meetings. Show is more than just about flash mobs, however. Several flash mob pitches have made the rounds in recent years — including one from Abdul herself. MORE
SCRAPPLE TV NEWS: Flash Mobs Not Just For Pillow Fights Anymore