Mayor Victoria Woodards said news that three teenagers had been arrested for stealing a car, robbing two businesses and leading police on a chase shocked her.
TACOMA, Wash. — Tacoma police arrested a 13-year-old, a 14-year-old and a 19-year-old man early Thursday morning. The trio were charged with crimes in Pierce County: stealing a car; robbed two businesses; Top cop in an ending chase on the interstate.
Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards said: “I turned on the news like everyone else in the morning and I was deeply disturbed, but also confused. “We’re doing our best in this community to be able to provide opportunities and alternatives for our young people.”
Several well-known crimes in Tacoma, including the shooting of teenagers, led the city to allocate $300,000 for summer youth programs. That’s the funding mechanism behind Summer Teen Late Nights. Mayor Woodards urged parents to enroll their children in programs like these. The nonprofit Greentrike oversaw the program.
Tacoma’s Summer Youth Late Night Program
“They can go to their friends, engage in another activity. There are other avenues to do it,” said Rolfe Bautista with the nonprofit. and lead them to positive outcomes in the future.”
Authorities have yet to share details of the morning’s events, leaving many questions unanswered. However, one detail we do know worries the mayor: the young age of the gun suspects.
“Those 13, 14-year-olds have guns. We know that in Tacoma a gun is stolen from a car every 37 hours. Where did that young man get that gun?” Woodard asked the question.
Woodards acknowledges programs that city funds have limitations. Some problems are part of larger problems in society, she said.
“Parents who work two or three jobs can’t stay home with their kids, it’s not because they choose to work two or three jobs. It’s because they have to, that’s the problem of poverty,” she said. “It’s not just the parents’ job. Obviously, it’s their children, but our community has a responsibility to our young people,” she said.