Homeless man attacked, assaulted on Plaza

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A homeless man attacked and assaulted by a large group of unruly kids on the Country Club Plaza.

The victim in this case, a 35 year old homeless man, told police he was just trying to get a drink a couple of Saturday's ago when a large croup of young kids hit and kicked him.

Unruly flash mobs have been a highly publicized problem for tourists and shoppers here on the Country Club Plaza. But homeless men told us they are being being victimized, too.

They've made the news for wreaking havoc on the streets of Kansas City's most popular entertainment district -- large groups of unruly teens, unsupervised and uncontrolled.

"We did close early one time. Probably a couple months ago because they were kind of fighting in front of our store and the police were out here and some girls were crying and kind of scared," said Rhonda Lake, a longtime employee at Topsy's on the Plaza.

Lake works on the corner of 47th and Central, where police say the latest assault happened. She says normally the Plaza is a safe, family friendly place.

"On normal weekdays and weekends the plaza is a great place to come. You know we want people to come here and feel safe," she said.

But after a homeless man told police he was beat by a group of 15 kids thought to be younger than 16 years old, the men and women on the streets say this is a common occurrence.

"Its just unfortunate  I mean I've heard stories about people sleeping under the bridges and people come by and hit em with bricks and stuff like that," said Mike Higgins, a Kansas City homeless man.

Another man who calls the streets home, Arthur Scott, told us he was attacked last year after three young teens asked to used his phone.

"Next think you know, 17-year-old girl is kicking me in the ribs while I'm trying to tussle with this guy for my phone. And next think you know, 17-year-old girl is telling the 14-year-old to cut my throat. Slash my throat from behind," said Scott.

The men say in nearly every case, the attacks are unprovoked and unnecessary.

"One of the main problems too is back in the day when we was coming up, you had programs like after school stuff and then the cut the funding from that so these kids don't have nothing else to do, trouble is waiting for em," said Higgins.

Police did not arrest any of the youth in this case because the man could not identify exactly who attacked him out of the 50 kids police had been following around that night.

The new curfew ordinance for teenagers is not in effect during these winter months.

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