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LONG BEACH : 23 Youths Detained for Violating Curfew

January 13, 1994

Police detained 23 teen-agers over the weekend for violating an experimental curfew designed to take youths off the streets between 10 p.m. and sunrise.

The curfew--Wednesday through Sunday for anyone younger than 18--took effect Jan. 1, but was not enforced until last weekend. The 23 teen-agers were picked up Friday and Saturday nights, while Sunday passed without any curfew violations, said Officer Margarita DeWitt.

Curfew violators were taken to one of three city parks, where they were supervised by a police officer and recreation employees until a parent or guardian arrived. Those who were intoxicated, however, were held at the police station until a parent was contacted, DeWitt said.

The curfew was approved by the City Council on a six-month trial basis, in hopes that crime associated with teen-agers--graffiti, assaults and gang-related violence--would decrease. The municipal code governing the curfew does not specify a fine. City officials said first-time violators might not receive a citation, but repeat offenders may be cited for loitering.

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