A large crowd of men who congregate on Annunciation Street playing dice and flashing guns at one another represent a growing problem that should be stopped before it becomes a tragedy, neighbors told Uptown-based Second District police Wednesday at their monthly community meeting.
The activity is centered on a block of Annunciation near General Taylor and Peniston, where dozens of men will gather in broad daylight for what appear to be drug deals, looping around the block on bicycles with ample weapons on display, neighbors said. Residents have been calling police for whatever violations they see, but the men only disperse when the police car actually comes, and reappear when police leave, they said.
“It’s amazing how organized they are. When a marked car comes, they just kind of disappear,” said one man at Wednesday’s meeting, who asked that his name not be printed to prevent any retaliation. “They’ve got guns. You’ll see them flash each other. It’s really a stressful situation.”
Residents complained of a recent shootout on the street, and NOPD crime maps record an incident of firearms being discharged at 7:30 p.m. June 25. As they described their problems, NOPD Lt. Mike Montalbano pointed out that a gambling call in that same exact area led to a gun arrest in early June during saturated patrols intended to stem the wave of robberies in May.
NOPD Commander Darryl Albert of the Second District thanked the handful of residents for speaking, and asked them to provide his investigators with further details outside the meeting. Their information, Albert said, should be enough to begin directing some targeted enforcement at the problem.
The meeting also included a review of June crime statistics and a discussion of the NOPD electronic monitoring program. To read live coverage of the meeting, click “Replay” in the box below.
This live reporting is so valuable. Thanks thanks thanks.
The residents from a safe distance should should take pictures of the suspects with their phones and give them to police.
They should also offer to let the police observe from inside their homes. Maybe they could organize a sting.
Carlos is right. A friend of mine was recently stabbed in his front yard in Orlando. One of his neighbors had started a Twitter site and a facebook page to assist with the neighborhood watch as they have had several problems of late. The description provided enabled the neighbors to spot the suspect a few days later, safely snap a picture and send it to the police, who then came and arrested him. Shocklingly (note sarcasm) it was not his first offense.
Tradgedy??? No not as long as they only hit each other…
I used to live about a block away from this area, there was a drive by at the time, must have been early 2009 or so. Anyway, there were well over 20 shots fired, only one or two hit the intended target. Point being, these guys are not the best shots in the world.
Uh, no way dude. How far away is a safe distance from some guy with a gun, when he sees you taking his picture?
I do this all the time. They scatter, especially when I take out the tripod. Usually I am taking pictures of the birds in the yard but they don’t know that. If they are going to shoot at me then so be it. At least I know I am trying to make it a safe place to live for everyone. I wish all the neighbors would do the same.
pictures…sure. There is a crime camera on Annunciation between General Taylor and Peniston. If the city/police wanted to witness this all they have to do is LOOK at the video they are already capturing.
It is probably not one of the broken ones, I have seen the thing move– just a month or two ago.