At a packed community meeting Wednesday night, San Diego police assured concerned North Park residents that extra officers are patrolling and protecting the streets of the Uptown neighborhood in light of various recent assaults on women.
“I am flooding the neighborhood with law enforcement officers. I have officers on foot. Officers on bike. I have officers in cars,” San Diego Police Capt. David Nisleit told a crowd of more than 100 people gathered at the Lafayette Hotel.
Total, there have been five assaults reported on young women stretching from North Park to City Heights since June.
In addition to more officers on the streets, Nisleit told residents that more is being done to ensure safety. He said businesses like Bark Pink on University Avenue are offering a person to walk someone to his or her car if it’s late at night.
Neighbors brought up the idea of leaving their porch lights on for passerbys.
In addition to residents, City Council President Todd Gloria and Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins were among the attendees.
One of the attendees at the community meeting was Ariell Folks who moved into her North Park apartment on Kansas Street four months ago. Her unit is only about a half-block away from where the latest assault happened on Lincoln Avenue near Kansas Street.
She walked with NBC 7 down the alley behind her building.
“Ever since this started happening, I don’t walk here. I don’t even allow myself to do this. If I wasn't with you guys right now I wouldn't be doing this at all,” she said.
According to police, the only confirmed similarities among the assault cases in the area is that the victims were walking alone and they were usually attacked from behind.
Police have provided a sketch of a suspect and a surveillance image of a person of interest. They cannot confidently say all the attacks are connected.
Police are asking people to report any suspicious activity, especially in the North Park/Normal Heights/City Heights areas. They say to call 911 if there’s an emergency and if there is not one to call their non-emergency line at 619-531-2000.