LETTER- Downtown assaults must stop

Nice article on the scary spate of beatings [News, "Eight is enough: Youths strike downtown again," July 12].

I had my own close encounter outside Starr Hill one evening last November. I was there for a big literary event and went outside at the break about 8:45– it was not very late. The sidewalk was busy with various folks. 

I looked toward Mel's Diner and noticed a small group of black kids standing around. When I turned my back, a soda bottle went whizzing past my head, missing me by a few inches. If it had hit me in the head, which clearly was the intent, it would have put me in the hospital. 

I turned around, and the kids ran into the alley next to Mel's. Seconds later, a young white couple emerged from the alley with the man holding a tissue to his face, blood coming from between his fingers. 

"Two of them just hit me. They just hit me for nothing," he said.

 I asked if he wanted me to call 911 and he said no. Next day I tried to report it, but the police weren't interested. I guess they are now. This has to stop.

Henry Wiencek



The bait is set.

I'm walking the streets lately acting all confused and touristy. Deliberatly walking the beats where this stuff is happening.

What you don't see....Kevlar [vests], lead, and powder. And that "drunk homeless guy" laying around with a brown sack....he's my backup, and that brown sack is not holding any beer. He too is equipped with some Kevlar, lead, and powder.

The attacks will stop. The little gangsta wanna-be's are playing Russian Roulette at this point. A close relative of mine was attacked and I promise you these attacks will stop. They can stop voluntarily, or they can stop with force. It's up to the little street vermin to decide.

Why arent the cops out in full force? Isnt that what we pay them for? How about they get out there in plain clothes and stop this. Heard on the news this morning that 3 more attacks happened over the weekend and NOW the cop are going to work overtime to get ontop of this. So..how many attacks does it take before the cops really do something? The cops on that ride their little tushes around on bikes on the downtown mall need to be off the bikes and in plain clothes. Maybe when a plain clothed officer gets attacked then something will be done.

When political correctness takes a back seat to public safety then and only then will this problem go away.

Lock em up. Throw away the key.

When the police chief made his appeal for "vigilant" citizens to do his force,s job, he opened the door to retaliation and irrate roaming victim's relatives. It will, of course, be the retaliators who get arrested and prosecuted instead of the original thugs. Yes, the police know who these gangs are and you've seen them with their long white Ts and baggy pants strutting like little peahens. Catching these miscreants is not a priority because it is nonprofit. The police can get much better cash flow by catching speeders verses violant criminals, the latter will require public defenders and our tax dollars. Take your chances by speeding past Mel's Diner on West Main St., to avoid being injured by thugs, and find out who pays! Is the "Mel's Diner gang" why Starr Hill closed?