Sunday, October 14, 2012

One violent Crime and The cost to this community

Don Harris is a friend and customer of mine . he runs Harris Sales & Service  also known as the ER room  which stands for Everything Rubber .
He has a store on Butler street in the Lawrenceville section of city of Pittsburgh .
its part variety store in front and in the back yes its a sex shop.  He sells rubber and leather clothing and  adult novelty's.
Don took a hobby/fetish  of loving to wear rubber and latex clothing  and turning it into a retail venture.

I have known Don thru his sale of industrial hardware , and rubber sheeting
When he sold it from his mechanics garage/ warehouse  on US 30  He often had hard to find industrial fittings I use when building industrial machinery

Don got away from the mechanical stuff because he developed carpal tunnel in his wrists as many mechanics do and started the retail business which he asked me to put an alarm system into
But it has been a struggle for Don  and he barely keeps his head above water.  It has been several years now and Don has had his share of shoplifting incidents but other than that  he has had few problems . He rarely has much cash in the store almost all his sales are by credit card .
The section of Lawrenceville Don has his store is slowly being transformed from vacant  shabby store fronts all dead since the steel mills went quiet in the 80's  to a nice mixed use neighborhood but Lawrencevilles  old ways  are still haunting it.

 It was a  sunny warm September afternoon about 2 PM when 2  young black men entered Dons store with hoodies and sunglasses and  sneaked up on him  since the shop door was open  to let in the cool air ,as they went toward Don at last moment he saw them got up out of his chair and they brandished a small silver hand gun. Don started to fight them off but he was struck in the head  as he fought with them he managed to wrestle with them grabbing the ones sunglasses and part of his hoodieas he made it out the door and fell to the curb had he not gotten out that door he probably would have been found dead.
 As a shocked shop keeper heard  the commotion and then saw the 2 individuals run off and saw Don was injured . Medic's and police responded quickly  Don now a mess of blood was taken to a local hospital where it  took 50staples to close the wounds on his scalp . There was blood all over the shop and on front street as you can see in the picture at left.
Don had  panic buttons but was unable to get to them . He had cameras as well but they where not working and he did not have money to fix them and did not want to impose on me he needed them fixed and would pay me later I wish he would of. It has been several weeks now Don still can not drive and has not been able to open and run his shop. He was already in the hole to begin with and this may be the straw that broke the camels back. 
These same 2 individuals who have done this are suspected in many more robberies of stores and citizens on the street yet city police can not seem to get a lead on who they are or where they are despite numerous help from citizens and now having evidence with DNA which could help solve problem but the county crime lab is backed up and it could be 6-8 months before results are available.
So once again a crime goes unsolved and a community suffers a loss which could be permanent and which will dissuade others from setting up shop when they can not be assured its safe to do so.
The locals who live around the area many section 8 and on welfare could care less as once again they see and hear violent crimes and will not come forward and help.
Then they sit back and complain how violent the neighborhood is and cops are not doing a good job. Then when cops do there jobs there nothing but pigs and racists .
Sad to say this neighborhood is never gong to change until the people living there are  eventually evicted  or change there attitudes.But this goes on in city's and small towns all cross the country .
The answers to fix it are not popular  and expensive but if we are ever to get rid of the slums the crime and everything that goes with it will take a mammoth effort to reeducate and change attitudes.  Which includes making jobs available and getting the economy moving again.

No comments:

Post a Comment