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February 21, 1986 - Image 48

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-02-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

48 Frdav February 21 1986

49

THE DETROIT JEVV ■ H NEWS

Th e
Teenage
Playgrounds

Unruly teens are
giving fellow students,
and parents, a poor
reputation, and
creating problems
at suburban
restaurants.

BY ROBYN KLEEREKOPER

Special to The Jewish News

They certainly aren't the majority
of teens, but there are enough of them
causing headaches for local mer-
chants, restaurant owners and fast-
food franchises that owners and man-
agers have decided to get tough with
young troublemakers.
Incidents of harassment by
teenagers, obnoxious behavior and
even vandalism, have made one Far-
mington Hills mall ban several area
youngsters and temporarily institute
police surveillance. A restaurant
owner in Southfield has had to person-
ally take over supervision of the late-
night shift and frequently call in the
police.
Who are these kids, and what are
they doing'? According to Bob Motley,
owner of several Ram's Horn restau-
rants, they are high school age resi-
dents of Southfield, Farmington Hills
and West Bloomfield. Their behavior
includes food fights, leaving without
paying for food, spitting, tearing soap
dispensers off bathroom walls, kicking

in toilet doors and using obscene lan-
guage.
"At my Southfield restaurant,
(Twelve Mile near Northwestern), the
kids were ruining the business ... the
adults wouldn't come. You wouldn't
believe the profanity they'd use. It was
just unreal," Matley said.
To deal with the problem, Matley
temporarily took over the late shift at
the Southfield location and made it
clear to young patrons he wouldn't
tolerate unpleasant behavior.
Many times offensive youngsters
were asked to leave the restaurant,
and their parents were notified. Mat-
ley would call the police when someone
refused to cooperate. At one point he
even instituted a policy of making
teenagers raise their hands before
they could use the bathroom because
often they would return to a different
table, leaving an unpaid check at their
first table.
The teens involved are 15 to 18
years old, and would come in around

11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Matley says they would often be half
drunk, and belligerent, threatening to
sue if the restaurant threw them out.
"I had four girls come in one night
a while ago. They were sitting at a
booth, spitting whipped cream off the
top of the hot chocolate at each other.
When I called one of their fathers be-
cause I threw them out, he said he was
an attorney and he would sue me. I told
him to come to the restaurant. I had
two regular customers who had been
'grossed out' by the girls' behavior and
would be more than willing to talk to
him about it. The father did come, and
the next day the girls stopped by to
apologize."
Matley feels he has the Southfield
restaurant pretty well back to normal
now, and is concentrating on his new
location in Farmington Hills where
similar problems have arisen. He says
many of the troublemakers merely go
to a nearby fast-food place when they
are removed from the restaurant and

bully the employees there.
The scene at Tally Hall in Far-
mington Hills is a little different. Dur-
ing the fall, a few West Bloomfield
High School students began calling
themselves "Young Jewish Boys In-
corporated," modifying the name of
one of Detroit's major drug rings. The
West Bloomfield students were in-
volved in harassment and nuisance
types of behavior.
According to Tally Hall super-
visor Robin Roesch, the boys dressed in
white New York Yankee jackets and
would harass food counter employees
and store owners. They would
threaten and bully, use bad language,
and sometimes throw food on the floor.
School authorities at West Bloom-
field High and police from Farmington
Hills and West Bloomfield were able to
put an end to their activities. There
had been only four to six boys in the
group. A school spokesman said the
bulk of the student body was strongly
opposed to the group.

Roesch says most of the young
people who come to Tally Hall are rea-
sonable and well-behaved. "It's a
gathering place to meet your friends,
and the kids get in to normal kid
things, like playing with stuff in the
toy store."
Most teens find the troublemak-
ers' behavior reprehensible, and avoid
their company.
Ali Blau is a 14-year-old from
West Bloomfield who says a walk
around the stores in Birmingham or a
trip to Tally Hall are pleasant ways to
socialize with her friends on
weekends. At Tally Hall, she says, she
does "nothing much, just wander
around, looking at things and talking
to friends."
Blau has witnessed some inci-
dents of high school students being
rude.to other people, but feels it's just a
few who do it. From her observations,
these students usually harass those
attending other schools and occasion-

(7ontituted on Poge .57

Quiet enjoyment or noisy
disturbance? Some local
stores have had to clamp
down on their teen
customers.

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