EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSCharleston Police Make Arrests In Effort To Clean Up Transit Mall Area
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kera Mashek
Web Producer: Kera Mashek
Reported: Sep. 18, 2013 9:23 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Charleston police are cracking down on crime at the Transit Mall area downtown, a spot that's been no stranger to crime over the years.
In fact, Wednesday night, a woman was assaulted there and taken to the hospital.
Police say the persistent problems are why they're making their presence in the area known, hoping to clean up the high-traffic area.
Five people were walked to court in handcuffs Wednesday afternoon, after being arrested at Charleston's Transit Mall for violations ranging from outstanding warrants, to public intoxication, and drugs.
"I saw a whole bunch of police out here trying to clean up this beautiful park because people just sit here all day, and I don't know what they do, sell drugs or whatever," said Shawn Butler, visiting Charleston.
Charleston Police say they're listening to community concerns and putting extra attention on the Transit Mall, with hopes of weeding out some of this park's problems.
"There's a lot of good people that walk down there to get to the mall and get downtown and we just want to make it as safe as we can," said Charleston Police Sgt. Nick Null.
People who frequent the Transmit Mall area and those who own businesses nearby are just glad to see Charleston Police taking a proactive approach to clean up some of the issues they see happen there.
Menzeba Hasati recently opened the Earth Center spiritual school just across the street from the Transit Mall. She says they try to stay positive, but have seen some of the area's issues spill over, like finding vagrants' urine outside. So she sees the new police efforts as encouraging.
"Having a community that's open and where people can be around businesses, have the opportunity to go to businesses and support the community without having to worry about the alcohol, the drugs, and that kind of environment will definitely bring more of a light and more positive atmosphere for people, and that's always a good thing," said Hasati.
Hasati just cautions that removing the problems from the transit mall area, could just push them to another part of town. So she hopes offenders take the chance to get any help they might need to truly help curb crime across Charleston.
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