An elderly woman said one of Baltimore's so-called squeegee kids jabbed her in an eye -- causing temporary blindness -- when she refused to hand over a quarter.

Ruth Rogers, 71, of Baltimore County, said she had stopped her car at a red light Friday when a group of squeegee kids, who wash windshields for money, approached her car.

Rogers said she asked the dozen youths -- some in their teens -- not to wash her windshield, but an older youth persisted. Rogers said that when she rolled down her window to ask the youth to stop, he poked her in the eye with the squeegee and said, "You . . . give me my quarter."

Rogers, who was aided by a passer-by, later called police and went to Union Memorial Hospital, where doctors said she had a bruised eyeball and was lucky to escape permanent eye injury.

Squeegee kids were recently outlawed by the Baltimore City Council, which divided on racial lines over whether the youths were risking injury and menacing motorists, or were just capitalistic hustlers.

A training program for the squeegee kids, set up as a compromise, has been criticized by city but according to city officials and police as a failure.