KENOSHA -- Kenosha police say seven teens are in custody in connection with recent robberies and attacks. The arrests followed four undercover operations during the month of August, during which two undercover officers ended up becoming victims of the attacks.
Police say the individuals arrested range in age from 14 to 16. All have been referred to the court on charges ranging from party to a crime of robbery, party to a crime of battery, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Police say since July 1st, they have received 12 reports of street-level robberies, with the latest case occurring on September 13th. Additionally, police have received four reports of battery/substantial battery, with six total victims.
Victims reported walking at night when the suspects approached and attacked. Victims described their attackers as black, male teenagers -- with groups ranging in size from six to eight.
The victims in these cases reported injuries ranging from pain and swelling to broken bones, as well as having personal property taken.
During Kenosha Police Department's undercover investigation, two plain-clothes officers were walking in the area where these attacks reportedly occurred, on August 24th. The officers were on foot in the 6100 block of 12th Avenue when they were surrounded by approximately 25 individuals. Five of the suspects took off their shirts and began taunting the undercover officers.
The suspects then began circling the officers from different directions. The group as a whole quickly closed in on the officers, and then individuals from the group began attacking the officers by striking them in the face and head with their fists.
During this attack, one of the suspects attempted to tackle one of the undercover officers -- causing them both to fall to the ground. While on the ground, the suspect began striking the undercover officer, while others from the group began to stomp on his head, shoulder, and rib area.
During this attack, one of the undercover officers had his personal property removed from his pocket, and the the officer had his backpack forcibly taken. The backpack was later found and had been opened.
Detectives assigned as cover officers to this operation quickly moved in to assist the undercover officers. As the detectives approached, they observed the male subjects striking and kicking the undercover officers.
As a detective was attempting to take one of the suspects into custody, they ended up on the ground and a member of this group jumped on his back causing him severe pain.
The actions of these suspects in the attack on the officers and the other victims have been violent.
Carolyn Oliver's 15-year-old nephew is one of those arrested. She says the fight was provoked.
"My nephew, he was just going down the street to his cousin's house, and the next thing we know, we see some guys out here just fighting 'em. Later on, I heard it was boys jumping the police, but that isn't what I seen. I seen the police come up and jump him," Oliver said.
While seven are in custody, police say their investigation into these attacks continues.
Donna Rhodes is Kenosha County's Gang Intervention Supervisor. She is working with groups like the Boys and Girls Club to deter the teen crime scene in Kenosha.
"This is not typical of Kenosha, and we're all obviously concerned and disappointed. We really want kids to know the long-term impact that these bad decisions can have on their life," Rhodes said.
Police are encouraging anyone who notices suspicious behavior to call 911 if it is an emergency, or the non-emergency number -- 262-656-1234.
Police say the suspects' names are not being released due to the ongoing nature of the investigation. All suspects have pending court hearings and are in custody.
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