Bil Browning

Late night fright

Filed By Bil Browning | June 06, 2008 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics

What happened to Mayor Ballard making the streets safer? I'm watching the administration tout the decreasing crime rate, but I have my doubts. Take last night, for example...

I went outside on our front porch for a smoke before bed at 1am. A young (16-17) African-American male came running down our street and up onto our next door neighbor's porch. He ran across their porch and saw me sitting in the chair on our front porch.

He pointed a handgun at me and told me to "Just shut the f--k up" and jumped the hedge between our houses.

He ran between the two houses and jumped the fence into our backyard and ran out our back gate into the alley. I've never been happier that our neighbors have a dog in their backyard, because as he hit the fence she scared the bejeezus out of him and made him run faster to get away.

I called the police and two officers showed up, but didn't seem too concerned. They got a call about another black male running through someone's yard with a gun a few blocks away on Colorado, but didn't say if it was the same guy. I heard one officer say to file it as "No report."

This morning I told Paige about it and she asked me, "Did he have on a red shirt?" She described the guy perfectly and said he was walking up and down the block for a good while yesterday, but while she was watching him he disappeared behind a car. Obviously the guy is casing our street to break in somewhere.

As I was writing this post, I heard four or five shots fired about a block away. When I notified the neighborhood about my experience last night, one woman recalled seeing the guy selling drugs on our block a couple days ago. She ran him off, but what would have happened if he'd pulled a gun on her?

The worst part? We have a cop that lives on our block. If the criminals aren't even remotely scared by the police cruiser parked down the street, what do we need to do?

I have to say, I managed convenience stores for several years and never got a gun in my face. Instead it happened on my front porch. What the hell is happening to our city?

Crime sure as hell isn't going down in my neighborhood. Maybe the reduced crime rate has something to do with the "No report" filed...

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Jesus H Christ man, you're lucky he didn't shoot you first and tell you to shut the eff up after. Having lived in that same neighborhood until December I know what kind of crazy shit goes on there. You guys might want to think about moving, that area has gotten even more marginal from the sounds of this.

If I may suggest a few things:

-Contact your community prosecutor. They should be stationed at your district roll call center. Contact them about your concerns, and let them know about the conduct of the officers. Insist that a report be filed.

-Make sure everyone in the neighborhood knows. Old fashioned papering is the way to go. I know you are involved in the neighborhood, so this is obvious and easy.

I would also make a few points:

-Remember your earlier post on the main site regarding the prostitute? This is a continuation of the same thing. Irvington has fought back hard, but it is still on the edge. Fight hard, and please don't give up so easily and move away like the other commenter stated. Some things are worth fighting for!

-Please remember this incident when you next hear the argument that "drugs are a victimless crime." This is what happens when you let drugs get a foothold in an area-guns and residential crimes surge. This is what happens when the judges won't even take it seriously. Fight hard, but keep the safety of you and your family in mind!

Chuck, I appreciate your sentiments man, I was one of those neighborhood activist types on the eastside for nearly my entire adult life. I grew up at 10th and Franklin and have lived in the Irvington and Little Flower/Linwood Square area my whole adult life until finally throwing in the towel on the crime issue last fall. The neighborhoods west of Emerson are being overrun by criminals. Used to be Sherman was the divide between high crime and low crime areas, well that is no longer the case.

As a matter of fact, my household is looking to come back to the Irvington area or points further east so we can dig in and pitch in on the comeback of the eastside underway from Irvington proper out to the county line along Washington Street. I just think for safety reasons alone after an incident like this its maybe time to look elsewhere for a place to live. There's plenty of decent neighbors to be had east of Emerson.

To be fair... I e-mailed this information to my neighborhood crime watch. The officer who lives on our block gave his wife some information that she shared over e-mail. It seemed right to share it with you too, so you can see the opposite side of the equation.

XX was working last night during that time. he was listening to radio traffic about this run, and as it turns out that there were actually shots fired on another street. I think he said Colorado. well, they were trying to find the guy. so the comment of "no report" means that Bill's particular case would not need a report because they were rolling this issue into the report that they already started for the shooting. especially because they believed it was related. they also found casings at the shooting sight. this would actually have more weight in an arrest, then if they ran a separate report for Bill's case.

hope this helps to clarify. I certainly don't want us all to feel like the police aren't doing anything about it. they are doing the best they can with what they have. it's just there is more crime then there is police officers. also, we may not always understand the processes they have to go through.

the scary part is, there was a shooting so close to us. thank goodness that crazy kid didn't decide to make Bill #2.

have a good weekend.

Melanie Davis | June 9, 2008 3:29 AM

Being the optimist I am, I have to say that I'm afraid that with the downturn in the economy there is going to be an increase in crime for a while as people get desperate, addicted, and angry. It doesn't matter what neighbourhood you live in, those on the bottom end of the social spectrum are going to look at risky maneuvers to keep themselves afloat, and that increase in crime is going to naturally spill over into the calmer streets.

Having said that, Little Mr. Riding Hood should have had his ass chewed off by the neighbour's dog.

Have you guys looked into purchasing a small video surveillance unit? We had a problem in our last house, then a break in, and finally we picked one up at Sam's Club for about $100. It had 2 night-vision cameras, lots of wiring, and a monitor. Then we told our neighbours about it. A couple of other people bought systems form Radio Shack and Lowes, and the crime in our neighbourhood went down to nearly zilch because everybody knew that the street and back yards were under surveillance. We even heard some people talking about it on tape.

Caution: Watching the recorded day is not recommended, especially if the system records 3 second blocks alternating between front and back cameras. We sat down for over two hours watching the weirdo neighbours in front and Animal Planet: When House Cats Mate in the back. We called it the OCD Channel because we just couldn't stop watching it. Oh the agony of anticipation when the cameras switch away from key moment because you can hear the combined audio of the two cameras. I still wonder just what I was missing in those 3 seconds.