By Aaron Zvi
Residents of Taney Road near Park Heights awoke to a cluster of rude surprises Tuesday morning, discovering just after sunrise that an act of mass vandalism had struck their vehicles overnight.
At least 5 families in the 3400 block of Taney Road, about half the block’s residents, walked outside to discover that one or more of their cars’ tires had been slashed.
In addition to the investigative services of Baltimore City Police and Shomrim, a series of calls quickly streamed into the Chaverim volunteer organization requesting fast assistance with tire changes to get residents’ cars road-ready in time for school and work.
“Calls to Chaverim began coming in at 7:28 am” Tuesday morning and kept coming, reported Dovid Weingot, one of the group’s dispatchers and vice president. It was soon clear that the rash of flat tires was no coincidence. But almost as quickly as Chaverim operators received residents’ calls, the group responded by dispatching a half-dozen units to Taney Road to address the damage and get families’ vehicles moving for morning drive time.
Rabbi Yitzy Reznitsky, a resident of the affected block, described the group’s fast arrival at the scene. “I saw multiple Chaverim cars responding to my block, and the members were busy putting on spare tires and talking with the police.”
Chaverim’s response was successful, and the affected vehicles were fitted with spare tires, enabling families to use their cars for local driving while awaiting tire replacement or repair.
Chaverim President, David Bagan sent a special note to the group’s members on Tuesday night, thanking the responders and noting the significance of being able to help community members during a stressful incident. “Despite the vandalism meant to intimidate these families and mess up their day,” said Bagan, “they were able to get to Minyan, complete carpool, and get to work. More importantly, these families felt a restored sense of safety and that they have friends there to help them in a time of need.”
Rabbi Reznitsky said he was impressed with what he saw. “I have a lot of appreciation for Chaverim, and I just felt inspired at seeing everybody coming together to help – and my car wasn’t even one of the ones affected.” Later on Tuesday, Rabbi Reznitsky donated a 5 KW generator to Chaverim to help the organization rapidly bring electricity to vulnerable residents during power outages. “Chaverim is the kind of group I want to be a part of,” he said.
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