GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga.,None - A Gwinnett County mother hopes police and schools to do more to prevent teen violence after her son was attacked at a Norcross park.
April Montanez told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh she believes violence between her son's friends and a rival group of teens is getting out of control. Montanez claims the group went after her son at Lucky Shoals Park on Monday afternoon.
"They dropped me right here on the floor and started to beat me up," the boy told Kavanaugh, while pointing out the location of the assault.
The 17-year-old said the group considers themselves a gang. Even though he admits to willingly participating in some fighting he said threats are becoming increasingly violent and even spilling into school.
“They used to be just a crew that showed up to parties, but they've gotten big," he said.
"We're here trying to get help for the kids," Montanez added.
Gwinnett County police told Kavanaugh that crime prevention officers are making an effort to communicate with kids on the streets.
Investigator Marco Silva said gang activity does not become illegal until an actual crime is committed. Often the best solution to fighting gangs is at home, according to Silva.
"A lot of time it's not even the kids we really need to talk to, it's the parents," Silva said.
Parents are often caught off guard by teen gang activity but police see it all the time, Silva told Kavanaugh.
Gwinnett County Schools have a student resource officer at every high school who monitors activity. Any business, church or neighborhood group can also request a gang awareness seminar. Class leaders only ask that a large amount of people attend so their message can reach as many people as possible.