CHANDLER, AZ — Chandler City Council Chambers was full of emotion Thursday as East Valley parents attended the meeting. Many were there to speak out against teen violence.
Fears heightened after the death of Preston Lord. The 16-year-old was assaulted at a Halloween Party and later died. Lord’s family was at Thursday’s meeting, and many showed up in orange to show support.
Read ABC15’s full coverage of teen violence in the East Valley
“Our child will never be coming home, and we need to prevent this from ever happening again,” said Lord’s Stepmom, Melissa Ciconte.
Through tears, she and other parents asked for Chandler to consider a regional task force and school programs. Ciconte hopes a potential “Upstanders” program could be incorporated in schools in Lord’s honor.
Other family members of victims spoke out during the meeting as well. That included one East Valley mom whose son, according to court records, was attacked using brass knuckles at the Gilbert In-N-Out parking lot over a year ago.
“The ER doctor who treated him said if his injury had been a few inches lower, it could have resulted in cervical vertebrae damage,” said that mom at the meeting.
Some parents asked the council for a regional task force, others suggested school programs, but all pushed for action.
Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke went on camera with ABC15 before the meeting to answer questions about teen violence.
“While violence can cross any border, we want to be ready to prosecute to the full extent to what is available,” said Mayor Hartke. “And we want parents and families to know that we hear you, we are with you.”
Chandler Police also gave a presentation and told the group the department has not found any cases involving teen violence tied to a group known as the “Gilbert Goons”.
No action was taken Thursday related to teen violence in Chandler. Council members took notes, addressed the crowd, and asked for follow-up from the city manager.
Ashley Holden www.abc15.com
2024-01-12 05:49:52 , Chandler News