Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Flash mob of screaming/laughing North Miami Beach Sr. High School students attempted to swarm the 163rd Street Walmart with M-D Metro Police in pursuit with flashing lights

It's all been downhill since they modified the classic logo...
Monday afternoon was a sad day for a proud NMB alum like me, Class of 1979, when I witnessed so many current NMB students so willingly to make complete asses out of themselves -just because they could. Like there was some doubt?
In my opinion, these kids need to be publicly punished and royally ostracized, but I wouldn't hold my breath that it'll happen now if I were you! 
Former NMBHS Principal Marvin Weiner would NOT have tolerated that one bit, and neither would most of my classmates at the time. Give how new our school was when I first got there in 1975 for 9th grade, just four years-old, my friends and I wanted our school to become well-known throughout the area for the character, smarts, class and sportsmanship of our students and athletes,
NOT become infamous for what the social misfits of no real accomplishment could manage to do. In those pre-Internet days, my friends and I would've put our heads together and figured-out a clever, practical and fitting way to make sure we made real examples of the ringleaders of a stunt like this, so that they'd feel rightly humiliated for embarrassing the rest of us. 
But today, these particular NMB kids feel so emboldened and free to do whatever they want, that they laugh their asses off for wasting the time of the police thru their own intimidation tactics. 

Flash mob of screaming/laughing North Miami Beach Sr. High School students attempted to swarm the 163rd Street Walmart with M-D Metro Police in pursuit with flashing lights

Shades of the Chicago Teen Mobs and the Summer of 2011!
(In case you forgot about that or never heard about it, see the Chicago CBS-TV affiliate WBBM's story from last summer, Mag Mile Shops On Alert After Flash Mob Thefts

I arrived at the Walmart Supercenter on N.E. 163rd Street in North Miami Beach on Monday afternoon around 2:30 p.m., ostensibly to use the Dade County Federal Credit Union facility located inside, since it's the closest branch to me here in Hallandale Beach.

As I was walking from the far side of the parking lot and was about to walk over to the area directly adjacent to and in front of the store -and checking to make sure I had my cell phone on me!- I was startled to hear hundreds of screaming, yelling voices and then turned to my left and saw hundreds of kids walking quickly from the west towards the store like they were marching in a parade.
But a very disheveled mess of a parade to be sure.

And just about the point that the kids were near the front doors, six Miami-Dade Metro Police squad cars with their lights flashing came up quickly behind them from the west, dozens of yelling kids made a mad dash thru the front doors, with more soon following.

People in the parking lot around me were so dumbfounded, they just stood there motionless, almost in disbelief that this was happening on an otherwise boring and hot Monday afternoon in NMB.

One of the officers driving a Metro police car yelled for someone parked in front of the store to move their car, and then he quickly brought his squad car to a quick start in that vacated spot. And then from across the street I watched as probably 6-10 police officers went running into the store, walkie-talkies in hand.

I stayed outside and unfortunately, by the time I thought to dig my camera out of my bag to shoot some video, the students had either already run into the store or had run towards N.E. 15th Avenue, the east border, where the Miami-Dade Metro buses going south and west are located, and where, after school, it's natural that there are lots of kids hanging-around waiting for their bus ride home.
Which is why the video I have for you is NOT so exciting or enlightening.
I guess I was a little more dumbfounded than I originally thought, huh?

(As most of you regular readers of the blog know from my having mentioned it here, I grew-up in North Miami Beach, having lived there from second grade thru graduation from North Miami Beach High School in 1979, and had first come to know that retail area as the original 163rd Street Shopping Center, where I worked at the Burdines in high school. My last six years in NMB, I lived  only four blocks away, on the corner of N.E. 159th Street & 14th Avenue in the 1970's.)

The Metro police seemed pretty intent on forcing anyone who looked like they were in high school to get out of the store, and as I stood out of the way near the packs of interlocked shopping carts, it was like being outside of an arena exit door after a concert, people just streaming out for what seemed like forever.
And Monday afternoon, all very pleased with themselves.

I waited 2-3 minutes to go in and when I finally did, there were still dozens of kids inside
near the front where the McDonald's is located, all waiting to get out as the Metro police
tried to herd them forward like lambs, with some outliers just not interested in going-with-the-flow. 

I would've shot video from inside the store but thought better of it since, among other things, 
a.) my father had been a M-D Metro policeman for 25 years, and,
b.) it was clear that the kids wanted attention and were not the least bit afraid of trying
to provoke something, so why add fuel to the fire and give the kids a forum to act out?
Or give the clearly frustrated police a new target to vent at?

Once I got inside, the rattled Walmart employees and mostly middle-aged and older
customers, many of them Orthodox Jews dressed in their long clothes, still seemed a bit shaken-up, and once I got towards the Credit Union, I could already hear exasperated voices on cell phones extrapolating theories out of thin air about what had just happened and why.

The answer, of course, is that the kids did it because they could.
And because they thought they could either get away with it, or not get punished if caught.

About an hour later, roughly 3:30 p.m., as I was coming out of the store, there were still
six Metro squad cars outside the Walmart instead of the usual one, near the front door.

Definitely would be interesting to see the Walmart security feed of the incident.

By the way, before I forget to mention it, I tried to send this information to Miami-Dade County Public School Supt. Alberto Carvalho via his email, but it was rejected -twice.
Maybe it only accepts positive news.

My previous posts on the explosive subject of flash mobs were on June 12, 2011,
Chicago Trib readers screw w/Trib execs: "The board for this story has been closed because of excessive violations of the Tribune's comment policies"
and June 29, 2011,
While crime and flash mobs roil Chicago-area residents, City Hall, Police, Tourism & Business Establishment act like ostriches. Sounds familiar!

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