Law enforcement urges: Let's keep Halloween safe and fun for everyone
Published: October 27, 2012
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ST. CROIX - Halloween is only a few days away, and community leaders said they are taking a stand against the mischief that usually accompanies celebrations to ensure a safe time and keep pranks and tricks from getting out of hand.
V.I. Police Commissioner Henry White Jr. issued a statement Friday saying that unlawful activities will not be tolerated, and anyone observed pulling Halloween pranks that cross over into being criminal offenses will be prosecuted.
The commissioner said that in past years, students have thrown objects at school buses or other vehicles during the Halloween season, and he sent a message to the youth and their parents that this activity should stop even before it starts.
"Throwing any object, eggs or rocks, at a moving vehicle, is classified as reckless endangerment, which is a serious crime," White said. "This is not a harmless prank. It can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle and could even cause a fatal accident."
White reminded parents that a 10 p.m. curfew is in effect for children younger than 16. Anyone caught violating the curfew will be taken into custody by police and held until they are released to a parent or legal guardian, he said.
White said students are not the only ones who are being monitored by the police this season, and he issued a warning to adults celebrating Halloween by wearing masks that conceal their faces that they might be stopped by police and asked for identification.
"Some people use masks to cover criminal behavior, so if you are wearing a mask at a costume party, please take it off when you are on the public streets," he said. "Replica weapons are also risky behavior. These items can be easily confused for the real thing."
St. Croix School Superintendent Gary Molloy said that historically, the district has recorded the most school bus incidents around Halloween.
Some residential areas are more hostile than others and have had more reported incidents, and the V.I. Education Department is asking parents to talk to their children and monitor their behavior closely to help curb these activities, Molloy said.
"Parents, please search your child's bag for any suspicious objects, and always ensure appropriate supervision of your child after school hours," he said.
Molloy also warned that, as in previous years, school bus service will be suspended to areas where the safety of students, bus drivers or buses is threatened.
Charles Nibbs, co-founder of LuvKids Inc., said his organization has been rallying against the observation of Halloween for decades because it promotes bad behavior and results in thousands of injuries and even deaths throughout the United States every year.
"It has no educational value and exposes children to vehicle crashes, dog attacks, vandalism and even potential poisonings," he said.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email email@example.com.