According to this Dakota County Criminal Complaint, a teenager was allegedly attacked by a man who had repeatedly had his doorbell rung and found no one outside (ding, dong, ditch). After seeing a pattern develop, the man waited outside for the offenders one night and chased them down and allegedly beat up and threatened one of the teens with more violence should it happen again.
From the complaint:
On May 5, 2012, officers were dispatched to take a report of a juvenile male who was assaulted by an unknown adult male the previous evening while playing the game “ding dong ditch”. The officer spoke to the juvenile male victim, who had his left arm in a sling. The victim stated that he and his friends were out playing the game “ding dong ditch” where one person rings the doorbell on a house and runs away while the others hide nearby to see the reaction of the homeowner. The victim stated that he and his friends believed they saw a police car after ringing a doorbell, so they began to sprint along a fence to conceal themselves. The victim stated that as he was jogging he was tackled and thrown into the fence. The victim initially believed that it was his friend because it was dark, but then the male began to punch him four or five times in the left rib area. The male then picked up the victim up by his hair and dragged him out into the street. The male told the victim that if he “ding dong ditched” again, he would find him and beat him even worse. The victim described the male as a white male, approximately late thirties or forty years old, six feet tall, slender build, and bald.
Dykhuizen stated that his house was being targeted every other weekend for months. He stated that his house was hit the previous night at approximately 10:15 p.m., and his wife advised him that a male wearing a red sweatshirt rang the doorbell. Dykhuizen went outside and stood on the side of his garage waiting for the juveniles to return. At approximately 11:00 p.m., the juveniles returned, and he observed one of them approach his residence and ring the doorbell. He began to chase the juveniles and observed them run across the street along the neighbor’s fence line. He caught the juvenile with the red sweatshirt and grabbed him by his shoulders. He stated that the juvenile fell to the ground and into the fence. He stated he wasn’t surprised by the juvenile’s shoulder injury. He admitted that he pulled the juvenile into the street to take a look at him and advise him that the neighborhood was fed up with his antics.
The victim suffered a separated shoulder from the assault.
Personally, as someone who took part in group efforts to pull off some pretty obnoxious things asteenagers, including having a penchant for moving ‘For Sale’ signs around in neighborhoods as well as ‘collecting’ lawn gnomes and security signs; I ran into a few instances where homeowners were none-to-happy with what we had done. The single biggest difference was that we never repeated the offenses on the same houses/neighborhoods. If this group was really doing this for months to the same person, perhaps they learned a lesson the hard way. I certainly would have been too embarrassed to admit to my parents what I had done and would have let a friend or my own stupidity take the fall for this one.
The question here is simple: if you’re constantly being targeted for harassment with a juvenile “game”, would you call the police to deal with it? Would the police really want to spend their time waiting out juveniles attempting to ring someone’s doorbell? Do you think the outcome would have been different if the man had chased down the juvenile, caught him, and held him until police arrived instead of threatening to do it again, only worse? How would you handle a repeated harassment by juveniles? What stupid juvenile pranks did you pull when you were a kid? Had you been injured during one would you have been too embarrassed to admit what really happened to your parents and would have used it as a life lesson not to do something so stupid again? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.