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‘Scariest night in my life’ says teen arrested in downtown disturbance

INDIANAPOLIS–Kiara Olmsted was curled up in a blanket on the couch of her mother’s south side apartment and not a bit proud about the misbehavior that landed her in handcuffs and at the Marion County Juvenile Center Saturday night.

“I know I’m not a perfect kid but last night, I never want that to happen again,” said the 16-year-old. “It was the most scariest night in my life. I thought my life was over.”

For a girl whose mom says she has screamed at times that she wished she was dead and tried and failed to fall asleep in the Emergency Room while under arrest at Eskanazi Hospital in a futile effort to make it all go away, Sunday’s dawn brought a realization that her destructive teenage ways would have to change.

“It ain’t getting me nowhere,” Kiara said, tears dripping down her face. “I’m not going to be able to get out of here and get a good job with the stuff that I’ve done. I’m not gonna be able to do anything and it sucks.”

Heather Bianchi choked up, too, as she pondered the future that lie ahead unless her daughter heard this latest wake up call.

“I’m freaking out,” said Heather. “I’m just waiting for someone to knock on my door telling me I have to identify a body. ‘This possibly could be your daughter.’”

Instead, Bianchi got a knock on her door from Kiara’s friend to announce that the girl was arrested for disorderly conduct because of fight on a night when, for the fourth time in the last five weekends, IMPD struggled to keep control of downtown streets from rowdy teens and gun firing adults.

“And last night it really woke me up,” said Kiara. “I don’t want to do that ever again. I want help. I want to change.”

Five teens were arrested, at least a couple pepperball rounds were fired off to break up groups and battles and at least one gunshot went off.

“Me and my friends was gonna go walk on the Canal and there was a fight there and when everybody took off running some kid had a gun and he shot it up in the air and I took off running,” said Kiara.

The teen and her friends wandered back toward Circle Centre where Kiara spotted a girl with whom she’s been having a beef over a boy.

“About that time she ran up on me and hit me and I began defending myself and when the cop told me I needed to get off of her, I didn’t listen to him.”

It took non-lethal rounds fired by the officer to break up the fight.

“I got shot here, there and there and my arm,” said Kiara as she pointed out the red welts and open wounds left by the rounds.

“Last night it was just horrible. It was just crazy because everywhere you would walk there would be a fight.”

After a night one commander described as more sedate than others his officers have recently seen, IMPD is contacting families of teens arrested downtown to determine what’s going on at home that leads to Saturday night chaos in the streets.

“We have access or outreach resources that could assist these families that these kids come from,” said IMPD Major Lorenzo Lewis. “We’d like to address some of the deep seated issues, some of the socio- economic issues that may be occurring that we don’t know about in the home setting. Maybe some of their personal issues. Get them some of the resources and services that are available out here in the city within Indianapolis that can help them.

“We can’t wait for them to come to us so we’re going to go to them.

“I just think that we have kids who aren’t getting the resources that maybe some of us are able to give to our family members when they’re having issues so they’re acting out is basically what they’re doing so we can address that by going door-to-door, knocking on doors and assessing whatever the needs are.”

The contact information for Kiara and her mother has been provided to IMPD, Deputy Mayor David Hampton and a local minister who have all agreed to reach out to the family.

“I’m a mother who cares about my child and I need help,” said Bianchi. “And someone needs to help. And if you’re not going to incarcerate these children then you need to have a program where they can be confined at home and they need to do the right thing.

Kiara said her third trip to the juvenile center in of itself taught her nothing.

“Like I go down there and I asked them last night, ‘Am I staying or am I going home?’ And they said, ‘Well, you’re going home,’ and I said, ‘Well, that’s not teaching me anything,’ because everytime somebody goes down there, they always just send us home. Like that’s going to help?”

Kiara now faces a charge of disorderly conduct and said the other girl in the fight was still at the juvenile center by the time she was home, curled up on her mother’s couch in a blanket and stunned about how far she had gone the night before.

“The marks I have on me, it hurts,” she said as two little brothers looked on and hugged their mother silently. “Its not only hurting me, I know its hurting people around me that actually care about me because I know if I go out here and do something stupid, I can end up in the hospital , I can end up dead, and there’s nothing anything anybody can do because its gonna be too late and I’ll be gone.”