Video of Kalihi teen fights prompt community concerns
The bare knuckle brawls wallpaper YouTube. They're short videos of teens in Kalihi going toe to toe, while others record it with their smart phones.
Kamehameha Homes resident Mike Kaleikini has had a ring side seat to high schoolers and middle schoolers mimicking MMA in the streets. He and his neighbors have called the cops, but the kids scatter before police arrive.
"People can get hurt. The kids can get hurt. Even the kids that are standing around can get hurt," he said.
The housing complex is a hub because it sits between Farrington High School and Kalakaua Middle School.
"It's very convenient because it's right there. It's enclosed. They can have their problems settled over there," recent Farrington graduate Jay Laeno said.
But the fights don't just happen at the housing project. They're popping up all over Kalihi.
"We want a safe community. We want a safe Kalihi," said Lorrie Kanno of community watchdog group Weed and Seed Honolulu.
She said the community needs to strike back at the growing problem.
"We need to educate both the family members and the youth. On the flip side, we've also got to provide some alternative activities. Positive things," she said.
The Kalihi YMCA is offering help.
"A lot of them don't have anyplace to go and things to do after school. Here at the Kalihi YMCA we try to provide those after school opportunities," associate executive director Kyle Ishizaka said.
A YouTube search shows it isn't only a Kalihi issue. Posted fight videos come from Ewa Beach and elsewhere. And it's not just between boys. Girls also fight and film.
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