Community concerned after Federal Hill stabbing

By day, Federal Hill is abuzz with shops and eateries and by night, it's a popular bar scene, but at any given time, longtime resident Robin Rider says there's marauding groups of menacing riders on motorbikes terrorizing the streets.
 
"We have groups of people that go around on bicycles and mopeds. (It's a) fast getaway," Rider said. "They're in groups of 10 or more... sometimes three to 10 or more.  Scream… yell... go by in packs and up and down... especially on the sidewalks.  They go up on the mopeds."
 
According to police accounts, a group of four teens on mopeds encountered 24-year old Sal Schittino in the wee hours of the morning Sunday as he was walking to a friend's house with pizzas.
 
They took his food and his wallet and, ultimately, one of them tried to take his life stabbing him repeatedly.
 
Arguably, the city's new curfew should have kept the youths off the streets at such an hour , but Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says the bigger issue is an unintended obstacle officers now face in stopping marauders on mopeds.
 
"If they're on the dirt bikes, the mopeds, that sort of thing, we have a no-chase policy so we wouldn't have taken after them in a police car," said Rawlings-Blake.
 
If the police are frustrated by their own policies that now make it difficult for them to catch up with the mobile robbers, the people that have bought high-end homes here are doubly concerned.
 
Most say they learned of the brutal stabbing by word of mouth or social media, since the police department dragged its feet in getting the word out two days after it occurred.
 
Resident Kristin Beterbaugh said the police's lack of communication on the case makes her nervous.
 
"I guess police can do the best job they can to keep us informed, but it would be nice to know when something happens," she said.
 
Schittino is still recovering from his wounds at the Shock Trauma Center.
 
He underwent eight hours of surgery to repair injuries to his liver, heart and lungs.
 
 
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