Mt. Vernon residents lock rowdy teens out

Following a recent shooting in the neighborhood, a group of residents banded together to keep a public park safe at night. People who live on South 9th Street in Mount Vernon say teenagers who camp out

News 12 Staff

Sep 22, 2008, 5:16 PM

Updated 5,725 days ago

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Mt. Vernon residents lock rowdy teens out
Following a recent shooting in the neighborhood, a group of residents banded together to keep a public park safe at night.
People who live on South 9th Street in Mount Vernon say teenagers who camp out at Purdy Park across the street after hours have been out of control. Logan Allison and his next door neighbor, Sheila Cato, decided to take matters into their own hands.
?It became rowdy. It was very, very bad, and during the summer it was crowded,? Cato says.
They started locking up the park at night to prevent youths from gathering after a masked gunman shot and killed 19-year-old Shomari Knox in mid-August. Knox was attending college and was soon to become a father.
Startled neighbors say they approached city officials and asked them to step up security measures in the area. Now, police officers patrol the neighborhood nine times a day and ensure that everyone is out of the park before 10 p.m.
Residents have taken it upon themselves to unlock the gates of the park at 8 a.m. every day.
?That's good because it keeps everybody out of the park at night and no trouble can go on at all,? says Sean Stuart.
Not everyone, however, agrees that locking the teens out of the park is an effective way to battle crime in the neighborhood. Some local mothers say the gates don't work, and that teens find a way to get in anyway.


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