Gun, drug arrests show ‘too many kids getting in trouble’

(Provided Photo/Indiana State Police)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Drugs, guns and cash are some of the things Indiana State Police recovered in recent weeks involving teens.

The most recent case happened Tuesday night near 38th Street and Pendleton Pike on the east side of Indianapolis. State police arrested 18-year-old JaWan Thompson, 18-year-old Tighe Bibbs and two 16-year-olds for drug- and gun-related charges.

Some people living in the community are hoping to find ways to address the problem of teens getting their hands on drugs and guns. State police said one of the guns found Tuesday night was reported stolen from Kentucky.

State police said it began with a traffic stop for a broken headlight.

Police found three guns, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a black ski mask inside the minivan. In September, troopers made a similar discovery after a chase near 38th Street and Wallace Avenue involving a man and two teens.

“It breaks my heart because these kids don’t understand their potential,” said Robert Jackson, who is a motivational speaker. “They have the potential to do something great.”

Jackson grew up in the Brightwood neighborhood and now travels across the country as a motivational speaker to young men and women.

“Because of the hurt in their past, the hurt in their upbringing, you know, kids are turning to crime or they’re turning into making bad decisions and it hurts my heart,” he said. “We’re trying to increase the programs and have enough programs for kids to do, but we need to increase it even more because we have too many kids that are getting in trouble.”

Jackson is now working with Peggy Surbey from the Indiana Department of Child Services on a male mentoring conference taking place next weekend.

“It’s a very sad thing for our children that they’re living in that environment, but where I really become passionate then is about the prevention,” Surbey said.

People participating in the conference will get a chance to learn more about business careers, healthy relationships and empowerment.

“I believe we’re a community. We’re a community that have a lot of strength and resources. We need to pull together and we need to do this for our children,” she said.

The male mentoring conference will be Oct. 14 at Warren Central High School from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and it’s free for anyone 11 and older. Registration is required.