Internet chooses neighbor who let teen spend the night in jail to teach him a lesson

When can the police be called in in neighbor disputes? One person known as @Storm_Lady on Reddit posed this question in a post on the “Am I the A**hole” subreddit, asking if they were wrong for calling the police for their teenage neighbor after asking for him several times don’t hang out on their roofs.

@Storm_Lady explained in the now viral post that they recently bought the apartment block they lived in and are sharing it with another family consisting of two parents and two sons. The poster lives alone in the apartment on the second floor and the family lives on the first floor.

The post went on to say that @Storm_Lady was on the balcony one day and overheard the man complaining that he wanted to buy the place but got beaten up against it. After a few months of renovation, @Storm_Lady had transformed her roof into a garden full of flowers, vegetable plants and seating.

“When I came out one day, I met my neighbor and she asked to see the garden with her sons,” explained @Storm_Lady. “I showed it and thought that was the end.”

But it didn’t stop there. @Storm_Lady started noticing that the furniture on the roof had been rearranged and some flowers had been cut. That’s when they installed a rooftop camera that picked up footage of the teenage sons and some of their friends jumping the fence in @Storm_Lady’s section of the roof.

@Storm_Lady said they had a talk with the boys’ parents and asked them not to go on their part of the roof anymore. They said they are not often at home and that “if something happens, there is no way to open the door to help them (metal door with a huge padlock).”

But the boys kept going up on the roof and allegedly even started destroying the plants in retaliation for “talking about them.”

“So I gave their mother an ultimatum,” the post said. “They stop or I call the police. They mocked me and called me a bitch.”

Neighbor calls police on boy
A now viral Reddit post questioned whether it was too harsh to have their teenage neighbor arrested for hanging out on their roof. This undated photo shows a person wearing prison overalls and handcuffs in a prison.
LightField Studios/Getty Images

The next time the camera picked up the boys on the roof, @Storm_Lady called the police and told them that someone had broken into their property. The post explained that although police arrived quickly, one of the boys had escaped but their brother was taken to the station.

The post went on to say that the boy’s father yelled at them for the charges to be dropped. “I also just threatened to call the police and went to bed,” the post said.

According to the Children’s Defense Fund, approximately 1,995 children are arrested every day in the United States. CDF reported more than 728,000 arrests of children in 2018, though that percentage has fallen 63 percent since 2009.

However, there are extreme racial differences when it comes to the number of children within the legal system. CDF reported that while 62 percent of arrested children are white, “colorful children were almost two times more likely to be arrested than white children”, and “black children were two and a half times more likely”.

@Storm_Lady explained that they dropped the charges in the morning so the teen spent the night in jail. The boy’s mother said he spent the night with “drug dealers and thugs.”

“I was so sure of my decision that I taught him the consequences of his actions,” the message ended. “But my mother said I was too harsh, she said I punished the parents, not that I taught the child a lesson.”

More than 1,400 commentators flooded the comment section with their opinions, many of them supporting @Storm_Lady’s decision to involve the police.

“If something were to happen to the children while they are hopping to your balcony or on your balcony, you could be held liable depending on the country,” wrote a Redditor. “In the US, I can imagine the parents getting a clumsy lawyer who would argue that the injury happened when the child was 51 years old.” [percent] on your balcony, so you should be held liable for the building falling.”

Other users said they would not have dropped the charges and said the teen and his parents needed to realize there were consequences for their actions.

“Your neighbors are entitled to AHs,” the user wrote. “And one day their son will be in even bigger trouble and it will all be their fault. I wouldn’t drop the charges.”

One commentator was quick to say that the teen probably didn’t even share his cell with adult inmates and that dropping the charges was a good thing.

“He probably wasn’t in an adult prison cell after all,” the user said. “And honestly, you deserved the charge, so you were super nice to drop them all.”

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