UPDATE (4:16 p.m.)—Frustrated by teenagers loitering and defacing her property before school, a woman followed the advice of Perry Hall High and police officials and began taking photos of students outside her home.
But Lynn Levin, a homeowner near the corner of Perryvale and Ebenezer roads, said she never expected a student to respond with violence.
At around 7:30 a.m. on Monday, a female student noticed Levin was taking photos and attacked her, according to the homeowner.
"She came over and smacked me—pretty hard for a girl. I was shocked," Levin said. "I have every right to take a picture."
Police have identified the suspect as Fotina Anna Alatzas, 18, of the 7500 block of Days Woods Court in Kingsville. Alatzas was charged Monday afternoon with second-degree assault.
When contacted by Patch, a family member of Alatzas declined to comment on the incident and charge.
Are crowds of students in neighborhoods near Perry Hall High School, before and after the school day, a problem? Tell us in the comments.
Baltimore County Councilman David Marks and Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger happened to be at the school at the time of the incident.
Marks and Shellenberger met with Levin following the incident to discuss ongoing issues with loitering, graffiti and property damage in neighborhoods near the school, the councilman said.
"It's a tough issue. I live right by the school and it's extremely frustrating," Marks said.
Marks formed the Perry Hall High School Neighbors Committee last year to address to town-gown issues.
A contributing factor to loitering is a strict drug-free schools policy, which prevents students from smoking on school property. Teenage smokers, instead, gather on a public sidewalk along Ebenezer Road and sometimes enter the yards of adjacent homeowners, according to Marks.
Levin said the crowds of students in neighborhoods near the school, between 7:10 a.m. and 7:40 a.m., appear to be growing. Since the beginning of the school year, a lock to her fence was broken and part of her vinyl fence is now covered in graffiti.
"I'm really tired of dealing with all of that," she said. "I saw them doing it and I couldn't stop them."
Levin said she hopes school and police officials will take a more proactive approach following the alleged assault.
Capt. Michael Balog of the White Marsh police precinct said he is working with school and government officials to develop a plan for addressing neighborhood problems with students.
Assistant Principal Stephen Arnold said the school has made multiple announcements discouraging students from loitering in neighborhoods before and after school.
Arnold added that warmer weather contributes to problems with crowds of students.
Marks said only a small percentage of the total school population causes problems.
"Most students are respectful," he said.
What can school and police officials do about unruly crowds of students near schools? Tell us in the comments.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this article misspelled the suspect's first name. Patch regrets the error.