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Noise Device Aimed at Warding Off Would Be Troublemakers

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By Cathy Carter

The owners of Gallery Place in the District have installed a device intended to irritate one particular group.

You can see it hanging on a wall at the entrance plaza to the Chinatown/Gallery Place Metro. The "mosquito" emits a high pitched noise that is designed to discourage loitering. In this case, it's aimed at congregating teenagers. Patrice Williams of the District, says something had to be done.

"Loitering is a problem and most times it is the teenagers and it's a safety issue," she says.

Business owners say the teenagers are loud and unruly and scaring customers. They hope the device will drive them away, but Nina Miller of Silver Spring, Maryland thinks there's better ways to do that.

"I mean, they have to do something about all the kids that are always hanging around but maybe it would be better if they donate, and put a community center up or something rather than make a deterrent, because kids have to be somewhere," Miller says.

A fight that broke out in Gallery Place last month spilled into the Metro and left several passengers injured. Three teenagers were arrested.

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