ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - Unprovoked acts of violence in the Central West End have many who live and work in the area on edge.
Wednesday evening, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson and other law enforcement officials attended a neighborhood security forum to discuss safety initiatives.
Residents also raised questions about these recent attacks, in which three people, not doing anything wrong, were randomly punched in the face.
The first instance happened on January 18th. Two elderly men walking down Newstead Avenue between West Pine Blvd and Lindell Blvd were punched in the face by a black male around 18 years old, roughly 5’6 with dreadlocks.
The attacks happened in the light of day, right near a pharmacy and some apartment buildings.
St. Louis Police District 9 Commander James Moran explains the attacks were unprovoked: “There was nothing said to them, there was no attempt to rob them, no attempt to steal from them.”
Two weeks later and three blocks over, a man fitting the same description punched a woman on Maryland Avenue, right behind the Cathedral Basilica. Moran says, “A suspect walked up to her, bumped into her, and just started to punch her several times, and then walked away.”
A security camera, part of an ongoing initiative in the West End, caught this suspect on camera.
The Central West End security team is distributing information on these attacks to residents and business owners. Still, some say they won’t feel comfortable until whoever did this is behind bars.
CWE resident David Receski says, “The attack the other day, I read, was around this time in the evening, which kind of surprises you because it’s still pretty light.”
Ally Kandlbinder, a freshman at nearby Rosati-Kain High School, explains, “We never used to watch our surroundings and we’re just going to have to start doing that now.”
Police say these unprovoked punches have nothing to do with the so-called knockout game, since there was no audience cheering on the puncher, and none of these victims had to be hospitalized.
Once this person or people are caught, they could be charged with assault in the third degree.
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