Meriden Church Holds Summit to Prevent Teen Violence - NBC Connecticut

Meriden Church Holds Summit to Prevent Teen Violence



    Meriden Church Holds Summit to Prevent Teen Violence

    A local church in Meriden held a youth summit Sunday, aimed at preventing violence. The event comes after a double-stabbing incident in Meriden, that took the life of a teen.

    Police said on September 21st, Deandre Felton, 15, and another teen were high on drugs when they targeted a man, who then knifed the two boys, killing Felton.

    That tragedy got leaders at the New Life Church to say, enough. They, along with Meriden’s Mayor, teens and community leaders gathered Sunday evening at the church to discuss and take action to curb violence.

    Latoya Felton, cousin of Deandre Felton, was at the summit.

    “It’s important that we not focus on the tragedy and focus on turning [it] around, so it doesn’t happen again,” said Felton.

    “We feel like we need to come up with some unconventional methods; maybe that will do a better job of helping these teens make good decisions,” said Pastor Will Marotti.

    Part of the challenge, is getting that message out in a city with increasing crime. This past week, five robberies were reported in Meriden. 

    “This has been the worst year…[and] I’ve been here all my life,” said Myles Mabry.
    Mabry said everyone—including teens, should step up and be more proactive in stemming violence.

    “I wish there was a lot more youth here because it takes everybody in the community to better itself,” added Mabry.

    Latoya Felton hopes others join the cause so families don’t suffer the same tragedy that rocked hers.  

    “Having a community conversation will help the energy flow out, and help to not have other families deal with such sad situations,” said Felton.

    Pastor Marotti hopes to hold a similar event in the coming weeks.