The Columbia Tap Trail is a popular bike and hiking trail in Houston. Since May, there have been a string of more than 20 vicious robberies of bicyclists, most of them occurring on the Columbia Tap Trail. Houston police have just arrested nine teenage gang members, ages 10-16, for those robberies.
Those thugs knocked the victims off their bikes and beat them with bricks and rocks before taking their bicycles, cellphones, wallets and other property. Several of the victims had to be hospitalized with broken bones and other painful injuries. In some of the robberies the teen thugs used guns.
HPD Capt. Glen Yorek told KHOU that “Without even so much as asking them for their property first, they would just simply knock them off the bike and start beating them.” According to Yorek, “Some said it was just fun, others said they needed the money. They needed the money to eat. They needed the money for tennis shoes.”
All of those arrested reside in the Third Ward, the center of Houston's African-American community. The 10-year-old will be charged with robbery. The others will be charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.
Now my question is: What kind of punishment would be appropriate for these vicious young thugs?
A woman who was attacked but managed to get away on her bike, was reported by Fox 26 as saying “I hope that someone reaches out for the boys because I think this is a cry for help.” Yeah, right. You can bet the head shrinkers, the experts on juvenile delinquency and the bleeding heart types will say these poor disadvantaged children are too immature to recognize the gravity of their criminal behavior and, if given the right type of non-punitive treatment, they will all grow up to be productive citizens. I say bullshit!