By: Marcos Lebron
BUFFALO,N.Y.—over a hundred and fifty people Sunday evening July 13, 2014. gathered at Symphony Circle on Buffalo’s Westside after a rash of crime in the last 10 days, at least four women have been attacked and at least a dozen robbed in and around the Westside area which include Allentown, Elmwood Village, the medical corridor and the Grants Street area. In some cases, the attacker followed the women from the Allentown neighborhood and Medical corridor area and raped them. In the Grant street area at least four women have been injured while being robbed.
Many of the crimes appear to have similar circumstances and the Buffalo Police Department has made one arrest.
“I am afraid to walk the street alone and afraid to let my kind go out” said Ana Velez who lives in Allentown and near where one of the rapes occurred.
Maria Falzon said;” I saw this women bleeding and crying as I was walking down Grant Street was shocked that could have been me. I spend a lot of time in Grant Street buying at Guercio’s grocery store and other business in the area.
Women in the Westside of Buffalo are very concerned after learning about four sexual assaults there, and at least a dozen other attacks in the Allentown, Elmwood Village, medical corridor and Grant Street area.
Take back the Night organizer Whitney Arlene Crispell said “the community is standing together in an effort to fight crime and to let the victims of crimes know that they are not alone. As the city continues to be plagued with violence residents in this area are saying, "Not in my neighborhood". Is this effort different than any others?
Similar efforts have been held across the city as the number of murders, rapes and robberies continue to rise. Yet, the mayor efforts to reduce crime have not worked.
Mayor Brown who attended the event at the invitation of organizer said “we are doubling our effort to insure that the community is safe”.
Assemblyman Sean Ryan who represents the district was questioned by residents about his support for a Methadone Clinic on Buffalo Westside in light of all the crime problems and he refused to give an answer.
Joining the effort to curb crime in the city was Louisa Fletcher- Pacheco of Voice Buffalo and numerous labor leaders
Other elected official in attendance were Niagara District Councilman David Rivera and former mayoral candidate Sergio Rodriguez.