A man was arrested in the downtown 16th Street Mall area of Denver, Colorado Wednesday evening for chasing and beating people with a long, plastic pole.
Denver police reported they received a 911 call to report the incident at 6:07 p.m., and they arrived on the scene within 3 minutes. The man was arrested for aggravated assault.
The incident was capture on video and posted on facebook by Caleb Bonham, who was inside a nearby building and able to film the attack through the window.
Denver’s downtown district and the 16th Street Mall area has been experiencing increasing violence. On Monday, June 27th, Denver city officials had announced they were ramping up security and going after the “scourge of hoodlums” that had invaded the 16th Street Mall downtown district, due to the increased violence in the area. They are determined to stop the loitering and attacks that is ruining the district.
The problems are not caused by “homeless” people, but by aggressive “urban travelers” who the mayor, Michael Hancock, describes as a scourge of hoodlums who are pushing the boundaries of the law. He said they are primarily young people who travel between cities during the summer months, seeking a carefree lifestyle, and have no desire to hold jobs or have a home. They arrive in time for the annual marijuana celebration and just stick around for several months before moving on down the road.
Mayor Hancock said the hoodlums are intimidating those who want to enjoy the mall area. “They’ve also been disrespectful even to our police officers in uniform, to be honest with you. We’re at the point where enough is enough. We’re not going to tolerate it for one more second.”
Their solution – the city is contracting with a private security firm to place more officers on patrol in the mall area. The officers will wear uniforms, but they will not be armed. Instead, they will coordinate with the Denver police to address nuisances.
The police department is asking downtown businesses to help. They want marijuana dispensaries to stop selling single joints, to reduce the number of people smoking pot in public.
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