Police downplay report of formal teen gang activity in Laconia

LACONIA — Police said yesterday they are investigating a case of criminal threatening with a knife after an altercation between two youths Saturday night at 8 p.m.

The Daily Sun learned of the altercation after receiving an e-mail from a concerned citizen who said a group of teens had been picking on some younger teens in the neighborhood around River Street and that one of the older boys had threatened on of the younger boys with a knife.

While the tipster feared the older teens belong to a group calling themselves the "Crazy White Boys", police said yesterday they are familiar with various groups of teens around town but hadn't heard anything about this particular group.

Police said the incident with the knife was reported to them and the teen who allegedly brandished it turned himself into them early yesterday morning.

Chief Chris Adams said it is reasonably normal for certain groups of teens to associate with each other but when any one group threatens another group with any kind of violence, the police take it very seriously.

He said police are very much aware of many groups in the city but said he is reluctant to label them "gangs."

He said once police get word that a group of kids are starting to name themselves, they're pretty quick on nipping it in the bud.

A police supervisor said in this specific instance, the two teens in the altercation knew each other and while an arrest has since been made, the supervisor was reasonably confident there would be no additional violence.