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ONLY ON 3: Will curfews, plastic cups, etc. help stop downtown violence? Mugging victim says no.

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: Will curfews, plastic cups, etc. help stop downtown violence? Mugging victim says no.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY-TV) -- The city says its main goal is to make downtown safe once again for those who visit. Now many who come here say its gotten so bad that the have to an extra eye out. Dale Saunders not only works downtown but lives there as well. Familiar with the area, he never expected to go though an event like he did Friday night.

"I was walking from a friend's house on Second Street," Saunders told us. "In between Grace I was on the phone and I heard some footsteps behind me so I turned and looked around. It was two guys. One punched me in the face, held me by the shirt and held a gun to my head. He told me if I didn't give him everything I had, he was going to shoot me."

The men made off with Saunders's money and cell phone. He says what happens makes him mad - and scares him - knowing this happened in an area where so many people visit.

"Thats behind all of this," said Wilmington City Councilman Kevin O'Grady. "We want a clean and safe environment downtown."

The city says it's taken note of the dangers downtown - and that's the reason why it wants to approve new guidelines for ABC permits in the Central Business District. Proposed guidelines include not letting anyone under 21 in a nightclub after 11:00 pm and requiring alcohol be served in plastic or paper cups after 11 p.m.

O'Grady says they're key to making sure visitors leave downtown safely.

"When they get out of downtown they'll be out of any danger at all, and its that crowd that big crowd of often intoxicated patrons, they're targets for bad boys and thats what brings the bad guys down here its target rich for them," said O'Grady. But when we asked O'Grady if he thought a curfew or paper cups would keep people from getting mugged - he would only say that it would be discussed at City Council Tuesday

So while the city attempts to control downtown businesses in order to keep people safe, there are some like Saunders who say thats not the right way to go about it. "The rules they're trying to pass in the bars, like the plastic and stuff does nothing outside of a bar," said Saunders. "I think like I said it comes down to law enforcement keeping an eye on people, as far as the ones who are walking, I work to 3:00 am sometimes when I leave I see no one, I see officers at 2:30 am, but after that I see no one anywhere."

The recommendations are expected to be approved at tomorrow's City Council meeting. O'Grady says its just one of the first steps to making downtown safe once again.

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Downtown Violence!

Yes that's right if everyone drinks out of paper or plastic, then no more violence.
I have lived downtown for over six years and walked home many a night after hours. There are police officers standing on front street in front a few bars, but nowhere else. This trend has continued. the streets around downtown are deserted by police. Less and less patrolling if any is the problem here. Yeah sure they might say that these areas are patrolled, B.S. night after night I have walked home and not seen one officer not one!!!


Idoubt those actions will solve the problem.

What's needed, in the absence of transferring school resource officers to night street patrol, is someone like Charles Bronson.

Armed; roaming the streets at night; taking out weasels and low life who think they can help themselves to your wallet and jewelry.

Or, the City could raise the daily bag limit for those who go downtown with a permit and handgun.

And for those who would express dismay, remember this. If you feel endangered; if you feel your life and safety are at risk, you can shoot to protect yourself. Just be certain to have a permit.

On the other hand, if Police are in the immediate area, put the round in the air. That will get their attention.

If the City can not control the low life populace; then they leave citizens no choice but to protect themselves. And, they likely condemn the new convention center to failure before it's completed.

Yea, because Wilmington

Yea, because Wilmington downtown is as dangerous as Cincinatti. Or Baltimore. Or Houston. Or Memphis. Or Chicago. Or LA. Or Detroit. Or Dallas. Or any of the hundreds of other cities with REAL crime problems.

Downtown Wilmington at 2am is seedy, not scary. We don't need Dirty Harry, this isn't Calcutta and idiots like yourself need to realize this isn't Mayberry and it isn't 1952 anymore.


another post which reveals it is better to remain silent and appear the fool then to speak and remove all doubt.

Charles Bronson did not play Dirty Harry; that was Clint Eastwood.

Charles Bronson played a character, in 4 or 5 movies, who took to the streets and administered his own form of vigilante justice.

If the police can not or will not fo the job, then perhaps citizens must rise to the challenge.

I know who Charles Bronson

I know who Charles Bronson is. I know who Clint Eastwood played. When did this become a movie trivia discussion?

Why don't we all pick up firearms and 'rise to the challenge'. I don't like the way law enforcement abuses their power. Should I start killing cops? I don't like the illegal and shady dealings in politics in Wilmington. Should I start taking out politicians? I can't stand the idea of children being abused. Should I start smashing down doors and checking homes for child abuse? I don't like drunk drivers. Should I personally start pulling people over? I don't like what goes on at Creekwood at night? Should go in there like Rambo?

Citizens can't take the law into their own hands. If that was the case, we would be in complete chaos. I run across individuals breaking the law all the time. Is it my RIGHT to take them out?

You continue

to prove my earlier point.

There's a far cry between incompetent or unpopular politicians and felons. And a person who sticks a gun in your face to relieve you of your valuables is a felon when caught and convicted.

If you have a problem with the politicians, use the ballot box to correct the issue.

Virtually every problem you refer to in a vague manner can be solved by maintaining pressure on City Hall. That's called being an involved citizen. Use the ballot box; work for candidates who will correct the problems. Attend City Counsel Meetings and let your voice be heard; but do so in a focused manner with specific issues and challenges and not with vague innuendo as you referenced above.

Be a person of conviction and speak out. Maybe you should run for office since there are so many things you are unhappy with.

"It was two guys."

Dale Saunders says, "It was two guys."

Interesting that he offers no description of the "guys" whatsoever. I wonder why?

Were they white guys? Black guys? Teenagers? Young men in their twenties?

Usually, when someone is accosted, they describe the assailants in some fashion.

Is Mr. Saunders straining to be politically correct? Oh-so-politically correct?

Yes, that's precisely what's going on here.

He was being interviewed for

He was being interviewed for a news article- not filing a police report. There doesn't need to be any more information about the assailants to drive home the point of the story- which is about making downtown safer.

Description of "Guys"

I disagree. A description may help apprehend thd suspects.

Here is an indisputable fact: The majority of armed robberies in the downtown area are carried out by young black males.

Young black males are the perpetrators of most violent crime in downtown Wilmington. This is a fact. Check police records.

The historic district is not safe after 10 p.m. Believe me. I live on Orange, and I have seen the predators stalking the streets looking for a victim returning from the bars.

I do not believe this will

I do not believe this will help. I agree with Saunders .....WHERE ARE THE COPS??? One place is in front of the City Saloon....they are eyeing the girls instead of eyeing the drunks!! Come on this is just one more law or enforcement that looks good on paper but doesn't work. Does O'Grady live downtown? You need to clean out some of the boys with their pants down to their ankles, and do rags on their heads and that might help...come on and live in the real world with the rest of us city council....we already know where the mayor long as it doesn't come to his landfall home he doesn't care!!

Standing around...

Before you bash WPD for "standing around" downtown... City Limits Saloon hires off two duty WPD officers to stand by the bar every Thursday and Saturday nights.