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Council passes emergency curfew for Five Points

Jun 28, 2011 10:12:00 AM - thestate.com
Starting tonight, children 16 and younger cannot be unaccompanied in Five Points after 11 p.m., and more Columbia police are being dispatched to the bar district if USC's baseball team wins a second national championship.

A unanimous City Council adopted the emergency 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Five Points curfew for 60 days in response to many incidents of misbehavior by teens this year and last year.

A savage June 20 attack on 18-year-old Carter Strange by a group of teens proprelled the council to move quickly this morning after legal questions delayed attempts to pass a citywide curfew earlier this year.

After the Five Points curfew, police may detain any youngster they believe should not be in the area. Officers are to receive extra training in dealing with young people, including those who do not carry identification. Ultimately it will be the officers' discretion on who to detain.

Police Chief Randy Scott said initially officers would concentrate on notifying youngsters of the new law, but teens who become belligerent might still be taken into custody and face a civil hearing.

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