It’s been a strange last few days on the neighborhood crime scene, including a stalker in the Park, bong hits on the beach, hit-and-run craziness, senseless vandalism, and even a self-inflicted stabbing.
To begin with the most serious, there have been several incidents reported to police of someone watching children in the Park. In two cases within the last week, police were called to investigate, but in each case the suspect had disappeared and could not be traced. The Central District News website picked up a report on the police scanner that on Thursday a suspicious male was reported hanging around the Madison Park playground watching children play. The caller reported having seen the man at the park on many occasions, describing him as a black male in a pink shirt who "doesn't look right.” On Saturday morning I witnessed a police search after a similar incident occurred. The parent who made the police call said this suspect was someone he had seen at the park in the past, but I was unable to get a description.
Meanwhile, the early evening calm of Thursday was shattered when a blue Ford Escort careened down 43rd Avenue E., crashing into a Volvo parked on the street in front of the Lakehouse condominiums. As the many onlookers watched, the driver reportedly got out the vehicle, staggered around, laughed hysterically, got back into his car and took off. Someone gave chase and got the license number, but he broke off pursuit when it became apparent that a serious accident could result.
On another evening last week, according to a neighbor, several people walking on E. Madison saw a man, possibly on drugs, pick up a big ceramic pot from in front of McGilvra’s and smash it onto the roof of a nearby parked car. And if that wasn’t enough craziness for one week, another neighbor reports that over the weekend there was an apparently drugged-out man walking around talking strangely who eventually ended up stabbing himself with a knife on McGilvra Boulevard E. as witnesses watched. Police were called.
Concerned neighbors who wish to discuss this mini-crime wave (if that’s what it is) will have an opportunity to do so at the upcoming Madison Park Community Council meeting on Monday (7:00pm at the Bathhouse). Madison Park resident Don Petit, who is trying to organize the neighborhood to deal with this spurt of criminal activity, reports that the Council has agreed to put crime on the agenda.
The bong hit incident, mentioned above, is admittedly unsubstantiated, but two weekends ago a bong was seen being carried down to one of the roadend beaches here in the Park, and the next morning evidence of a fire and a lot of debris was discovered. Whether the bong was actually used or not, only the alleged perpetrators know for sure.