Mayor Wu says the city wants to help local kids accused of recent attacks

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The children allegedly assaulted people in Roxbury, Downtown Crossing and Boston Common.

Mayor Michelle Wu said the city will offer support to a group of juveniles accused in a series of Boston attacks.

The children — the youngest is reportedly just 11 years old — allegedly attacked people in Boston Common, Downtown Common, and at a McDonald’s in Roxbury, The Boston Globe reported

The most recent incident happened Wednesday in the Common when the group allegedly harassed a woman walking with a small child. Two Suffolk University students who saw the encounter told the kids to stop their behavior. According to the Globe report, that’s when it escalated and one of the children, a girl, allegedly punched one of the students in the face. 

No charges were filed due to the age of the alleged attackers, though Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden told the Globe his office was aware of the spate of attacks, and described the assaults as an “ongoing public safety threat occurring in the Downtown Crossing area.”

Wu said city officials will try to get to the bottom of the behavior of the kids involved. She also said the city will boost mental health care in public schools.

“There’s a plan in place to work with families, to work through our public safety agencies through our schools, through our youth and city and state agencies, and so we’re really looking to wrap around and make sure these young people get the supports that they need,” Wu said at a press conference Friday morning. “These are children who need support and services, and they’re connected to adults who also need to have some accountability.”

Wu said that a “second epidemic” related to mental health has risen from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There’s an overwhelming need, as we’ve heard from school nurses throughout the city, for us to provide those mental health supports and make sure that there’s programming,” Wu said Friday.

The prior incidents happened on April 18 in Downtown Crossing and April 26 in Roxbury. In the first incident, the juveniles allegedly assaulted a woman and left her with an injury over her eye. The Roxbury incident involved the kids throwing a beverage at a McDonald’s employee during a verbal dispute, and destroying property.

City officials are in touch with the Boston Public Schools that the accused children attend, and are working to create a support plan for the students.

The accused children who are over the age of 13 may face legal consequences, though. Hayden said his office is working with Boston police to address formal complaints against those juveniles. 

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