A Wauwatosa man intervened Friday night to stop a group of about 20 teenagers who, he said, were attacking two boys.
Six Milwaukee teens, one of them 18 and the others 16 and 17, were caught and arrested for disorderly conduct and prowling.
In an interview Monday, the witness, who asked that his name be withheld to avoid retaliation, said that as he was driving north on North Mayfair Road just south of West Burleigh Street about 9:45 p.m., the youths suddenly bolted into traffic on the busy thoroughfare from the parking lot of restaurant. Oncoming cars from both directions hit their brakes to avoid striking them.
The man said he then saw the group run north into traffic again on Burleigh — the light had just changed — and attack two boys walking on the sidewalk in front the gas station at the northwest corner of the intersection.
"I'd say there was an easy 20 of them," he said. "They ran in front of and behind my car in heavy traffic, with no regard for their own safety.
"Then they ran across Burleigh against that light — same thing, right into oncoming cars.
"Then they grabbed these two boys and knocked them down and started punching and kicking them."
The witness pulled into the Mobil station after he crossed Burleigh and began sounding his horn, scaring off the attackers. He then checked on the two victims and called police.
"The whole thing transpired in about 20 seconds," the man said.
The two victims, both 15, one from Wauwatosa and one from Milwaukee and both students at Tosa West, told officers they were going home from the West football game and were crossing Mayfair and Burleigh to wait for a bus when the large group of unknown teens approached them from behind and asked if they knew someone named “Keem.”
They told them they didn’t and began to walk away when they were jumped from behind, pushed down, punched and kicked and robbed of their cell phones. Both boys had scrapes and small cuts on their faces, but neither needed medical attention.
Meanwhile, officers caught five of the boys in the backyard of a residence in the 10600 block of West Burleigh Street and another in Alioto’s parking lot at 3041 N. Mayfair.
In statements to police, one of the suspects told police that he and several of the others involved had been playing basketball at Sherman Middle School in Milwaukee when they heard that a friend had been “jumped” at the Tosa West game.
They piled into a car, he said, and headed for West High but stopped to meet up with another group gathered at Alioto’s. Then someone pointed out the two boys walking up the other side of the street and said they were the ones who had jumped their friend. The whole group then crossed Mayfair to attack them.
"One of the things that amazed me more than anything," the witness who intervened said, " — and I grew up in Milwaukee and I know all about the challenges of an urban center — is that nobody at the Mobil station did anything to stop it. And there were at least five cars there, and (the drivers) just stood there and watched.
"There were a bunch of other Tosa parents in cars all around me, they were talking about it the next morning. I know people put their personal safety first, but sometimes you have to do something.
"Being what it was, I'd do the same thing tomorrow. Those two kids didn't have that coming to them."