This eye-witness account is from Paul Wilkinson, president of the Altamont Park Neighborhood Association:
Tonight, around 11 p.m., a group of at least 60-70 African American youth marched down one of the side streets (W. Thrush) to the 4 lane main drag (Sheridan). They were yelling threats to white residents. Things such as we need to kill alll the white people around here. They were physically intimidating anyone calling for help from the police. They were surrounding cars. Cars on the main drag had to slam on their brakes to either avoid the youth blocking not only all four lanes, but a large section of the side street as well. fights were breaking out among them. They were rushing residents who looked out their doors, going on to porches, yelling threats to people calling the police for help.
Cars were doing U turns on the streets just to avoid the mob, mostly male. One youth stated his grandfather was white and several assaulted him on the spot. One police officer answered the call. The youth split into two large groups, one heading north, the other south. They were also yelling racial threats to the police officer but he was outnumbered. Another police car did not show up until after the youth finally dispersed and the patty wagon (van) also eventually showed up.
Residents are very shaken, both black and white alike. This is the fifth large mob action in about a month with smaller groups of 10-12 are out threatening children and adults a few evenings a week or later into the night. The times vary, even occuring during the day. In talking to the police officer, they are short staffed. Residents were advised to simply keep inside and to lock their doors. In other words buckle down, it’s not even safe to sit on your porch or go into your yards.
“The fifth large mob action in about a month.” Wow. This is really outrageous. Why is this neighborhood having to put up with this? “Residents were advised to simply keep inside and to lock their doors”? Seriously? That’s the best we can do for our fellow citizens’ safety?
This needs to be addressed, and quickly.