“I was beaten up here," said a woman who wished to remain anonymous.
  • “I was beaten up here," said a woman who wished to remain anonymous.
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“A really aggressive homeless dude” was witnessed yelling and disrespecting a female city employee with “f-bombs” as she was working in the baseball field on September 12, according to Jeff Ray, a 50-year-old North Park resident.

An NBC San Diego news crew was in the same park “[but] was too far away for them to hear [him yell], 'Bitch, go back to Mexico!' He was relentlessly...screaming at her,” Ray said, “and she wasn’t even responding.”

Thirty minutes prior to the witnessed “verbal assault,” at about 10:00 a.m., Ray did an interview with the news crew about the North Park Community Park (by Howard Avenue and Idaho Street) — and its problems.

He said that last month homeless people in the playground told him (and his two toddlers) to leave.

“Last Friday [September 8] I brought my kids [to the park and] witnessed yet another incident,” Ray said, “this time involving domestic abuse…. That was the last straw [and I’m] not taking my kids back to that playground.”

Ray is a former professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. He recently relocated here from the Bay Area. He said that he’s taking a year off to watch his twin 19-month-olds and that in the past ten times they’ve come by the park, on six of those occasions he noticed suspicious activity by people who appeared to be homeless.

“I’ve advocated for a homeless veteran [and other homeless individuals] before,” he said, “and I understand their plight.” After having kids though, he said his point of advocacy has changed. “You have less patience and you are protective of your kids,” he said. My love and my passion are for my kids [now].”

A syringe was found in the park last month.

Later on September 12, this reporter asked a park staff member who was picking up trash about the screaming incident. He said he'd heard about it and that his colleague’s “feelings got hurt.” He said that the homeless situation in the park is getting worse and “and it’s hard for us to do our job.” He added that in the past year he’s found beer bottles, cigarette butts, and drug paraphernalia.

Ray said he found a syringe in the park on August 7.

“That comes with the demographic of type of people that hang out here,” Kerry said. She lives across the street from the playground.

Another lady who did not want to be identified has been coming to the park for about 15 years. “I was beaten up by another woman here,” she said. “The problems here are growing.”

“We are trying to keep this [park] a family place,” said the park staff member, “[and] parents complain…and they get cops coming by.”

During the interview sessions, cops in patrol vehicles were witnessed driving and parking on the grass of the park grounds. “But what are they going to do?” asked the lady who said she was beaten up. There were also between 20 and 30 adults sitting in the grass and park benches — with no kids in the vicinity.

“We have signed a petition [and] delivered [it] to [councilmember] Chris Ward’s office,” Ray posted on his social media. “Some of us have talked directly to Mr. Ward, including myself, all advocating for the North Park [Community Park] playground and the area around it to be a safe space for children. To no avail, nothing has changed.”

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Comments

dwbat Sept. 14, 2017 @ 3:42 p.m.

I walked (briskly) through that park yesterday (on the way to another destination), and there were NO parents and kids in the playground area. There were the usual assortment of bums hanging out, one of them yelling at another.

3

AlexClarke Sept. 15, 2017 @ 7:32 a.m.

Note to the stupid city planners: When you build a park (like this one or the Horton Plaza one) it attracts the bums, gang bangers and other worthless human trash. They destroy the bathrooms and make the park an unattractive place and a dangerous one. The park is paid for by hardworking taxpayers. If you are going to build a park you must also provide 24/7 security.

2

MURPHYJUNK Sept. 15, 2017 @ 8 a.m.

"city planners" have connections to the companies doing the work most likely.

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Speed Sept. 17, 2017 @ 4:32 a.m.

This park was planned and built back in the 20s. I loved playing in this park as a little kid back in the early 70s. I don't think the planners or anybody else had the homeless or gangbangers in mind when they built it. Until the 1980s it was absent of "human trash" and was filled with lots of kids and teenagers.

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Cassander Sept. 15, 2017 @ 11:22 a.m.

I think it's like any other situation when a tipping point is reached. Whereas in the past or "normally" the number of homeless in any given area was only one or two people, now there are so many, there's developed a group or pack mentality. And that has led to an ascendance of a hardcore criminal element that preys on the weaker or more socialized homeless—which is why so many of them avoid shelters to take their chances in canyons.

We need to step up our response accordingly: make anything already illegal (such as weapons or illicit drug possession, violence or intimidation) that occurs in a public park or shelter a "force magnifier" for higher penalties (such as is speeding in a construction zone), so police have the power to handle the worst offenders.

2

jnojr Sept. 15, 2017 @ 3:47 p.m.

We need CCW issuance reform.

And we cannot deal harshly enough with crazed transients who threaten people. They should be beaten into unconsciousness and dragged away to be locked up. The hordes of stinking bums that flock to San Diego are bad enough, but the violent ones need to be suppressed IMMEDIATELY by any means necessary. We cannot have a civilized society where angry nuts can scream at and threaten people with impunity while the do-gooders clutch their pearls and moan about "compassion" and "services". It's time for the stick.

1

AlexClarke Sept. 15, 2017 @ 6:32 p.m.

The homeless are like stray dogs, if you feed them you will get more of them. San Diego is a magnet for the homeless as there are many free services and they won't freeze to death.

1

Andreas2009 Sept. 22, 2017 @ 12:12 a.m.

3 yrs and 9 months later, although I am happy that I left--I did grow to love North Park for the time I lived there. 4 years later, I moved to Scandinavia and honestly I can say you get what you pay for and you reap what you sow. Warnings were there but no one ever listens. It's not just the park, it's the whole country. But you have to decided what kind of country you want yo have and in what kind of society you want your children to grow up. It's really sad, but you people won't change.

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