Neighborhood experience worries mother and son. |

Neighborhood experience worries mother and son.


It only takes one scuffle between neighborhood kids to activate a mother’s protective instincts.

Just ask Linda Hoefert. Her 12-year-old son Daniel had a run-in that left him – and her – a little shaken. Had he not been wearing a helmet, she said, he could have been injured by a baseball-size rock that was thrown at his head.

And Daniel has developed a new perspective on his freedom to ride around in the neighborhood. What started as an argument between him and three younger kids ended with his bike mangled and his ego bruised.

“I don’t want to go out there ever again,” said Daniel, remembering his experience. “They threw the rock at me and my bike.”

Admittedly, Daniel said he might have provoked the boys when he answered their taunts and threats of violence by spraying water at them from a bottle. “But (the reaction) was too much,” he said. “Water doesn’t hurt.”

He said several rocks were thrown at his bike, scratching it and breaking spokes. When the last of the three boys was called home in their neighborhood on Century Drive near Century Circle, Daniel quietly made his way home, carrying his battered bicycle.

By Friday the bike was fixed by a local repairman, but the damage to Linda’s peace of mind will remain.

“This violence has to stop,” she said. “He’s very special and I don’t want this to happen to my son. I always tell my son to wear his knee pads and he usually does. Anything to protect him.”

Linda said she will be apprehensive to let him go out riding by himself considering the actions of some of the neighborhood kids.

“I think if these kids are going to get in trouble then something should be done about it,” she said. “You read about kids shooting other kids and it makes you think.”