, Salem, MA

March 13, 2013

Police: Snowball scofflaws take aim at post office again

By Neil H. Dempsey
Staff Writer

---- — MARBLEHEAD — Police have logged several incidents over the past month in which youngsters have accosted people with snowballs near the post office on Smith Street — and it happened again on Monday.

The recurring problem generally occurs after class at the nearby high school gets out and often involves a large number of kids — some of whom throw snowballs at passing cars, people trying to use the post office and, at least on one occasion, a U.S. Postal Service employee.

On Monday, a woman walked into the police station to report that a group of 10 to 15 students had been congregating near the post office and harassing passers-by every day, according to the incident log.

“She stated that today they were throwing snowballs and using offensive language to anyone that walked by,” police wrote.

The woman said she felt so “threatened” by the youths that she arranged to have a post office employee carry her mail out, and “while doing so, the group was throwing snowballs at the employee.”

Similar incidents have occurred over the last month. On Feb. 13, police responded to the same area around 2:40 p.m. and reported moving along a group of 30 youths.

The next day, a Thursday, police received a 911 call around 2:45 p.m. saying that the same group was out in front of the post office again, throwing snowballs at people and vehicles and “causing trouble.”

A man reported speaking to the three kids who were throwing snowballs, but that didn’t stop them, and the group continued its behavior as it moved in the direction of Swampscott, throwing snowballs at a house and a bus for the handicapped.

That same day, a woman told police that numerous people had complained about the “upsetting” incidents and that “she has little children and doesn’t want to not be able to stop at the post office because of the snowballers.”

The woman was advised that police were looking for the troublemakers; she suggested posting an officer at the post office at the end of the school day.