Unruly teenagers have been terrorizing a Scarborough family for over a year. Mike Greer has taken photos of some of the youth and considered putting this poster up around his West Rouge neighbourhood.
Credits: CHRIS DOUCETTE/QMI AGENCY
TORONTO - Mike Greer and his wife Joanna moved into their new house in east Toronto two years ago believing it was the perfect place to raise their kids -- Xander, 5, and Tyra, 3.
But living in their dream home in Scarborough soon became a nightmare as they found themselves being terrorized by belligerent, pot-smoking teenagers who have no regard for the law or concern for human life.
"Last week they firebombed my house," a frustrated Mike Greer told QMI Agency Tuesday. "I don't know how we're suppose to live like this."
Soon after moving into the home, Greer realized teens often partied at West Rouge Public School next-door, especially during the summer.
They drink, smoke dope and get into fights regularly in the school parking lot and out back.
Early last summer, the phys-ed teacher noticed marijuana smoke wafting into his kids' rooms and decided he had to do something.
"I should be able to read my children a bedtime story without their bedrooms filling up with pot smoke," he said.
Greer approached the youth sitting with their bongs in a doorway on the north side of the school and "politely" asked them to go elsewhere.
But rather than abide by his wishes, the teens told him they were on "public property" and there was nothing he do about it.
That was the first of many times he has tried to reason with the clean-cut, well-dressed teenage boys, who he believes live in the area.
When his house was egged for the first time that summer, Greer didn't think much of it.
But then in November, all four tires were slashed on one of his cars.
"That's when I knew we were being targeted," Greer said.
The partying dissipated last winter, but trouble started up again when the weather warmed up in March and April.
Over the May long weekend, Greer said vandals scratched two of his cars and slashed his tires again.
That same weekend, the playground at a nearby daycare was set on fire, as were bags of lawn clipping along the street and garbage bins at the school.
Greer realized the situation was becoming dangerous and once again called police. It was the first time officers responded to his house.
But Greer said police told him there was little they could do unless they catch the teens in the act of committing a crime.
Near the end of May, Greer met with an officer from the Community Response Unit, a representative from area Toronto Councillor Ron Moeser's office and a Toronto District School Board trustee to discuss prevention for this summer.
Lighting at the school was improved, a gate was erected to stop vehicles from entering the parking lot and police stepped up patrols.
Greer also installed infra-red cameras at his house. But the problems only escalated.
One June 24, his home was egged again. Cameras caught the vandal's image but his face was covered.
Last Saturday, things turned scary when a Molotov cocktail was tossed at his home. Fortunately the bottle smashed off one of his cars and the flames did not catch.
"We are so at a loss of what to do at this point," Greer said. "It's disheartening."
Police said they are "actively investigating" the fire-bombing.
"Evidence was sent for forensic testing and we are waiting for the results," Const. Wendy Drummond said.
She said police are "fully aware" of the situation and future crimes will be treated with a higher priority.
Moeser, meanwhile, said he plans to meet with the 43 Division superintendent as well as the school board trustee to discuss further options.
"It's really unfortunate that anybody has to go through this," he said. "It's such a nice area, but a few bad kids can really make life hell for people."
Several other neighbours said they also have had trouble.
"This is not just some kids getting into some mischief," said Geoff Evenden, whose wife and young son were almost run down by some of the teens. "It's out of control."
Greer recently began spending nights in his car parked in the driveway, unsure of how else to protect his family.
"People's lives are being ruined and it needs to stop," he said, appealing to the youth involved. "It only takes one or two kids to stand up and say 'This isn't right.'"
Greer also pleaded with parents to pay closer attention to what their kids are up to.
"They may be telling you they're sleeping at a friend's house," he said. "But how do you know they're not sitting beside my house smoking weed and carving up my cars?"