Entries in Teenagers (10)


Florida Teen Mistook Brother for Intruder, Shoots Him

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- A teenager shot and killed his 12-year-old brother because he mistook him for an intruder in their Florida home, police said Saturday.

According to police, the 16-year-old was home alone on Friday when his younger brother came home.

"He heard some noises and he called out for his brother and he didn't answer and then his brother startled him," Orlando Police Department Detective Mike Moreschi told ABC News affiliate WFTV.

Scared that there was an intruder in the home, the older boy grabbed a gun and shot his brother, according to police. Once the teen realized what had happened, he immediately called 911.

The younger boy was taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later. The teenager and his parents were taken to the police station for questioning and released hours later.

"He's devastated, obviously. His parents are devastated by what happened and it's just a really bad situation for the family," Moreschi said.

Police said the teenager would not be charged with any crime related to the shooting, although the state attorney's office will review the case for possible negligence.

Neighbors of the family were in disbelief over the shooting.

"All I can say is it's so scary," Julia Bracey told WFTV. "It's heartbreaking, I can't imagine what the parents are going through right now."

Francis Ikwueme, who also lives near the family in the Orange County subdivision, found the shooting devastating.

"It cuts deep and it breaks my heart," Ikwueme told WFTV. "There was the shooting up in Connecticut. Anytime young life or life in general has to be cut short senselessly, it's a very unfortunate thing."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Chicago Teens Charged with Murder for Allegedly Filming Fatal Attack

Comstock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Two Chicago teenagers have been charged with first degree murder for allegedly filming the fatal beating of a 62-year-old father of 12, in what is the latest incident of teens taping and sharing violent crimes online.

Delfino Mora's family said that he was collecting cans in an alley on the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago on July 10 when prosecutors say he was attacked by Malik Jones, 16, Nicholas Ayala, 17, and Anthony Malcolm, 18.

Mora was found unconscious but breathing just before 8 a.m. by a passerby, but he died seven hours later as a result of blunt head trauma endured during the attack, police said.

"I think they are heartless," the victim's son Jose Mora told ABC News' Chicago affiliate WLS-TV.  "Why they would do this to a guy, older guy, 62?  You know, I don't know.  It is so painful."

All three suspects have now been charged with first-degree murder.  Jones, who is being tried as an adult, is the one prosecutors say delivered the lethal punch to Mora, which caused Mora to hit his head on the concrete.

Ayala and Malcolm were denied bail on Monday.  Jones had previously been denied bail.
According to investigators, Jones gave his cellphone to the two other alleged attackers, who took turns filming the assault.

The clip of the beating was later posted to Jones' Facebook page, police said.  A witness was able to pass a link to the video along to another man who had reportedly been attacked by Jones in a separate incident.  The police were soon notified of the filmed attack.

The filming and posting of the attack on Mora is the latest incident of what has become known as "happy slapping," filmed assaults that are then posted to Facebook or YouTube as a means of bragging or gaining online notoriety.

Though this filmed mischief and anti-social behavior has been popular among teens for years, lately it has become increasingly violent.

Last November, a video surfaced online of a Chicago teen who sucker-punched a homeless man in a subway station while his friends filmed it and laughed, and later posted the clip online.  The teenager was charged with aggravated battery.

In December, a 20-year-old New Jersey man was arrested after a friend filmed him attacking a homeless man in a wooded area in Wall Township.

In the United Kingdom and other European countries, the trend has gone on to include filming increasingly violent crimes.  According to The London Times, the "happy-slapping" fad began in south London in 2004, and since, it has escalated to include filmed rape and even a case of manslaughter.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Teen Flirting App Linked to Rapes

Goodshoot RF/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Skout, a popular mobile flirting application, has suspended its service for teenagers after it was linked to three sexual assaults in recent weeks, causing developers to re-evaluate its security measures.

The separate sexual assaults involved two girls, ages 12 and 15, and a 13-year-old boy. All were allegedly victimized by adults posing as teens.

"For now, we believe that there's only one thing we can do: until we can design better protections, we are temporarily shutting down the under-18 community," founder and CEO Christian Wiklund said in a statement posted on the company's blog.

The mobile networking app, which was originally intended for adults, launched an offshoot for teens last year after developers realized teens were using the adult version.

Despite the additional security measures the teen version touted, the application has shown it needs more safety controlls, Wiklund said, adding that he takes the assaults very seriously.

His team is "working around the clock to build better safeguards," including an age verification system, he said.

"We will not compromise the safety of our community, and right now, our concerns are too significant to simply stand by and do nothing," Wiklund said in his blog post.

The social networking app, which works on iPhones and Android devices, claims it is one of the largest mobile networks for meeting new people.

In April of 2012, Skout secured $22 million in funding from the powerhouse tech venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, whose clients include Foursquare and Air BnB.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Teen Driver Deaths Increase in First Half of 2011: New Report

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The number of 16 and 17-year-old drivers killed in automobile-related incidents increased 11 percent during the first six months of the year 2011, according to a new report.

Data released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) on Thursday shows a 16 percent jump in the deaths of 16-year-old drivers during the first half of last year, while the number of 17-year-old drivers who died edged up 7 percent. Of the 23 states that reported increased fatalities, Florida, Texas and North Carolina were among the states with the most significant increases, the report revealed.

The findings could spell the end of years of progress on the issue.

“If the trend continued for the second half of 2011, it will mark the end of eight straight years of cumulative declines in deaths for this age group,” the group said in announcing its findings.

The data was compiled by Dr. Allan Williams, formerly of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

“Dr. Williams attributes much of the increase to the fact that the benefit of state Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws may be leveling off, as most of these laws have been in place for some time,” the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit said. “Additionally, Dr. Williams speculates that improving economic conditions are contributing to an increase in teen driving, thus increasing their exposure to risk.”

The GHSA notes that its report, “comes as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a statistical projection suggesting that total motor vehicle deaths for the first six months of 2011 declined 0.9 percent.”

Meanwhile, transportation officials issued new guidelines Thursday aimed at limiting driver distractions.

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood worries that drivers pay too much attention to their dashboards and too little attention to the road. In 2010, LaHood said, more than 3,000 people were killed in crashes involving distracted driving.

"While it is good news that overall deaths appear to have declined during the first six months of 2011, we are concerned that the trend with teens is going in the opposite direction," GHSA chairman Troy E. Costales said in a statement.

"As parents, we must set and enforce strict rules for our new drivers, making sure risks are minimized,” Costales said. “This includes limiting other teens in the car, limiting nighttime driving and absolutely prohibiting any type of cell phone or electronic device use while driving."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Teens Purchase 'Legal Pot,' Despite Potentially Deadly Side Effects

Doug Menuez/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Synthetic drugs that lawmakers and law enforcement officers say are potentially deadly are readily available to teenagers both online and in retail stores -- despite a push to ban what high school kids call "legal pot," an ABC News investigation found.

After 18-year-old David Rozga suddenly took his own life with a rifle last year soon after graduating high school, his parents were convinced the synthetic drugs played a major part.

"He just continued to become agitated -- indicating that he felt like he was in hell," David's father Mike Rozga said.  His girlfriend at the time said it was clear David was under the influence of something.

"David did not do this intentionally," girlfriend Carrie Jackson told ABC News.  "He was like in an altered state and, you know, he would never do this or hurt us or hurt anyone else or hurt himself."

Mike Rozga said before his death his son went to a local mall and legally purchased a K2, a product like several others meant to mimic the effect of marijuana.  An ABC News investigation found these products available on-line and at stores for anywhere from $15 to $85.

Retailers say they have their own standards and most won't sell to anyone under 18.  But ABC News hidden cameras caught two retailers -- one in New York City and one in Los Angeles -- selling Spice to a 14 and 16-year-old, respectively, without ever asking for ID.

Rozga's death has prompted lawmakers to push for a ban on the synthetic drugs, which poison control centers say have spurred a rash of emergencies.  Since 2010 alone, there have been 4,000 calls into poison control relating to the drugs and Missouri Poison Control Center Director Anthony Scalzo said the innocuous-sounding names belie sometimes devastating side effects.

Scalzo said the side effects include heart rate stimulation to exaggerated levels, extreme blood pressure elevation, agitation, paranoia, and hallucinations. "Beyond the acute effects [there] are psychiatric effects that have led individuals to harm themselves, sometimes fatally, and exhibit extreme paranoia and delusions not unlike schizophrenia or other psychoses," said Scalzo.

But retail store trade groups oppose the ban and say that as long as the products are legal, there is no reason not to sell it.

"A ban is dangerous," said Dan Francis of the Retail Compliance Association.  "Because it sends it underground.  And I'd like to ask the government what is wrong with euphoria and who gave them the right to regulate it?"

However, Detective Sergeant Brian Sher, who investigated David Rozga's death, places the blame for the boy's death directly on K2.  "I want people to know that," said Sher.  "There are nay-sayers, but I can say definitively there's just nothing in the investigation to show that.  Given what we know about K2 and Spice, David's anxiety, his feeling like he was in hell, has happened in many other cases."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


DOT to Hold Campaign Promoting Teen Driver Safety

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Teenage drivers are disproportionately involved in fatal crashes with large trucks, according to the Department of Transportation.

Although the inexperienced drivers make up just six percent of motorists, they account for 19 percent of fatalities.  That's why the transportation agency will hold a "Teens and Trucks" campaign Thursday to educate young drivers about the hazards of the road and how to steer clear of a truck's "No Zones."

"It's about teaching our least experienced and already our highest risk drivers the importance of steering clear of truck's 'No Zones,'" DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne Ferro says.

"The 'No Zone' are the blind spots around a truck, and steering clear of a truck's 'No Zones,' making sure that the truck driver has you in his sites is a sure way to avoid any sort of crash," she explains.

During the demonstration, teens will be staged around a truck's "No Zones" and will be seated in the truck's driver's seat "so that they can see just what those blind spots really are, how extensive they are, and generally, its a sobering message for teens who participate in these events," says Ferro.

The campaign comes just as summer is approaching, a time when it is especially deadly for this age group on the road.

"Between graduation season, start of the summer, this is among the most deadly period for teens on our nation's highways.  In fact, in the summer months, teens are at double the risk for crashes on our roadways," Ferro says.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Florida Father Arrested After Seen Encouraging Son to Fight in Video

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla.) -- A Florida father has been banned from seeing his children after a video made the rounds on the Internet showing him encouraging his son to beat another boy.

In the video, Philip Struthers, 41, is seen egging his 16-year-old son on as he fights another teenage boy over a girl.

"Knock him out, Jake!...Punch his eyes out!  Slam his head on the ground," Struthers is heard saying in the clip.

Authorities say the father made no attempt to break up the fight.  They arrested him Tuesday and charged him with child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Struthers was released from a Hillsborough County jail on Wednesday after posting bond.  A judge ordered him to stay away from anyone younger than 18, including his son and the other teen in the fight, according to the St. Petersburg Times.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Death Toll Climbs In Philadelphia-Area Shooting

Thinkstock/Getty Images(CHESTER, Pa.) -- Two teens are dead and at least seven others were injured after a late-night shooting at a girl's 18th birthday party outside of Philadelphia.

Police said Saturday that they have a suspect in custody, but they have not said what they believe led to the Friday night shooting at 11:30 p.m. Friday at Minaret Temple No. 174 in Chester, Pa.

Police brought in for questioning dozens of people who were at the hall at the time of the shooting. The building was reportedly locked down.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Teen Critical After Snorting Dog Meds, Smoking Marijuana

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(FORT MYERS, Fla.) -- An 18-year-old Florida man was in critical condition Friday after he and six other young people reportedly snorted dog medication, inhaled butane, smoked marijuana, ate mushrooms and took over-the-counter cold medicine.

Officers responded early Thursday morning to a medical assistance call at an apartment in Ft. Myers, Fla., after a neighbor called 911.

"When we arrived it was obvious they were under the influence," said Lee County Sheriff's Office spokesperson John Sheehan.

The seven were rushed to the hospital early Thursday morning. The 18-year-old was the only to overdose on the concoction, according to police. The other six victims, including the 16-year-old who hosted the get-together, were treated before being released from the hospital.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Teens Try Week With No Facebook, Texting

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(SEATTLE) -- Facebook and texting are like food and water for modern-day teenagers. But this week, students at Shorecrest High School in Shoreline, Wash., have tried to go cold turkey in a challenge they called "the social experiment."

Along with their rival high school, the students took a trip back to 1995: no Facebook, no texting, no e-mail, no instant messaging. Except for emergencies, they didn't even use their cell phones.

When they return to school on Monday, the students will see who survived without status updates, and who was tempted to text. The tech-addicted kids were inspired by their video production teacher, Trent Mitchell, who said he hoped his students could "think about ways they can communicate besides just sending a quick 'OMG, LOL' message."

The time away from the computer led some students to appreciate old-fashioned forms of entertainment, like reading a paper-and-ink book.

Mitchell said about 250 students and teachers at each high school planned to go tech-free for the week. Students who survived the week -- and didn't get caught by the "Facebook spies" who were monitoring students' online habits -- stood to win prizes donated by businesses in the community. Students in his video production class were filming the experiment and creating documentaries out of their footage.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio