Teen troublemakers don't represent downtown Detroit, residents say

Police investigate multiple fights between teens in downtown Detroit this past weekend

Published On: Feb 11 2013 05:01:18 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 11 2013 05:52:23 PM EST
DETROIT -

Most residents and people who work in the area will tell you there is a feeling that downtown Detroit is moving in the right direction.

However, after some teenagers created chaos this past weekend in the streets, there is concern that it could keep people from going downtown.

Police still are investigating what sparked multiple fights between teenagers on the streets of downtown on Saturday night. The fights spilled into American Coney Island. Police say the fights involved teens from rival neighborhoods.

Read more: Detroit police arrest trouble-making teens downtown

"Everywhere you go where there is going to be a large amount of people you might have concerns or some problems," said Tony Stovall.

Stovall has owned Hot Sam's clothing store near Campus Martius for decades. He has seen the ups and downs of downtown. He says what happened over the weekend was just a minor setback.

"Sometimes what we do is take a small something and make it a picture for the whole thing," Stovall said. "We can't take a paintbrush and paint all of Detroit bad."

Police say the fights involved as many as 80 people between the ages of 14 and 17. The majority of the teens taken into custody were released to their parents that night.

"I just wish people would raise their kids better," said Dunnar Fuller, of Detroit. "This type of stuff wouldn't happen. All the old-schoolers are dying off, so we don't have those grandparents to put their foots in their kids' butts."

Most people Local 4 talked to said this was an isolated incident that won't keep them away from downtown Detroit.

"People want to come down here, they want to have fun. They don't want to see violence and stuff like that. I mean, Detroit is a great place," said Barry Daugherty, of Wayne.

Rhonda Cruz, who lives downriver, agrees this incident is not representative of what goes on in the area on a daily basis.

"Most of the time downtown is quite safe," she said. "I worked here for almost a year."

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's office did not comment when Local 4 contacted representatives on Monday. They said it was a police matter.