People React To Underage Ban On Chippewa

July 17, 2010 Updated Jul 17, 2010 at 4:56 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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July 17, 2010 Updated Jul 17, 2010 at 4:56 PM EDT

Chippewa Street bar owners don't want fights going on outside of their establishments. Nonetheless, it's happening. Despite routine police patrols on Friday and Saturday nights, officers have their hands full breaking up brawls.

"There've been plenty of fights down here I've actually seen some down here," said Giovanni Centurione a Buffalo resident.

Police say most recently, the problem-starters have been underage.

"The ever increasing, what I would call younger population, that is down there...to what appears to be mingle with the older crowd is sometimes just to be on the street," said Mike DeGeorge, spokesperson for the Buffalo Police Department.

"Anytime you have young kids out like that violating the law. Because that's what it is, they're committing crimes by doing the things that they're doing. Whether it's an assault, wether it's criminal mischief, it's the wrong behavior," said David Rivera, Niagara District Councilmember.

But some people say the underage crowd is being unfairly targeted because fights also breakout between drunk adults.

"People that are coming from the bars fighting, they take their business outside and they fight right in the street especially at three and four in the morning people are already wasted and they're fighting," said Centurione.

Soho bar manager Jay Manno says the problem isn't as bad as it seems.

"Down here you have 30 bars in one area. If each one of them gets their normal one fight a night like they used to back in the day it looks like there was 30 fights and it was a melee down here and it's really not that bad," said Manno.

Still others think it's the City's responsibility to come up with something for teens to do rather than just kick them off the street.

"The youth in Buffalo, they need something more youth oriented. There's a lot of alcohol, there's night clubs and it's for adults," said Chanyl White, a Buffalo Resident.

There are some clubs that are 18-and located in the area. Some worry the age-limit ban would hurt those businesses. Right now the idea is being discussed between members of the Chippewa Entertainment Association. They are still deciding if they want to pursue the ban.