Lately local crime has been on my mind. Here are a few instances:
- While walking the dog last week the Queen and I witnessed some adolescent boys fighting in the park not 50 yards from us. Their friends looked on as the boys puffed up, threw punches and tackled each other. At the same time on a park bench behind us I overheard a kid tell his friends he was going to follow some girl, but to watch out because she had a razor hidden in her mouth. The younger kids scare me more than any other demographic in this area as they are fearless and have something to prove. Now that school is out for the summer I wish it wasn't.
- Last week about 6 blocks North the police answered a call to help a young man who was being assaulted. Upon arriving at the scene a scuffle broke out with the man they came to protect, as he was allegedly carrying a gun. The young man was killed by the police in the altercation.
- On the same street as the previous crime, Zach Sowers was beaten in a random act of violence while walking home from the bars in June of last year. He was in a coma until March of this year before he passed away. Since then, the kids convicted of his attempted murder cannot be charged with murder as they were convicted of attempted murder because Zach was alive at the time. Zach's death was belittled (and then redacted), which follows a pattern here in Baltimore of the victims being looked down upon while the criminals get plea bargains and pity because they have lived a hard life, or something.
- The other night the Queen was stuck at a busy intersection due to an assault happening in the intersection. In the middle of the street, in day light she witnessed one guy in the middle of the street being repeatedly struck in the head with baseball bats and golf clubs by three guys. She called 911, was placed on hold for 5 minutes before getting through to the Baltimore City police. By the time the police picked up the assailants had run off.
It took two days for this incident to show up in the Baltimore Sun's police blotter, there was no mention on the news of it nor have I seen any other print on it.
"Police were seeking two men armed with baseball bats who assaulted five other men during a street fight in the 3700 block of Falls Road about 10:30 p.m. Monday. The victims suffered head injuries and were treated at four area hospitals."
The police didn't quite get this one right... It was 9:00 pm, the number of assailants was incorrect, and the above makes the incident sound pretty benign. I guess if the person didn't die, it wasn't that bad.
I should be excited about Baltimore dropping from the second most violent city in 2006 to third in 2007, or the murder rates being down 30% this year. My immediate neighborhood (meaning within a few blocks of me) is considered to be pretty safe, but after seeing more crime in the area I'm wondering if something has changed or if I'm just noticing it more. Either way, it definitely dulls the glimmer of city living, like the closeness of restaurants, bars and social activities. While I loved the HBO Show The Wire I appreciated it when it showed the Baltimore that I didn't see at all as opposed to the one a few blocks over.
I'm not really sure why I wrote this entry, but seeing as crime has been on my mind I just thought I'd blog about it.
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Unrelated, I've been getting a bunch of spam comments. I'm not deleting any normal comments, just the spammers.