The Kenilworth neighborhood south of Asheville is not known for its mean streets. But an incident in early September showed that even the placid outskirts have their discordant moments.
David Forbes’ Sept. 11 story, “Waiting for Cavalry,” described the incident: “On the evening of Aug. 8, Andrew Fletcher and his roommate, David Goodman, were in their Kenilworth apartment. … Then a neighbor told them that their BB gun had just been stolen off their porch.” Fletcher and Goodman pursued the alleged thief. “Almost immediately they spotted a ‘young guy, not even drinking age, maybe not even voting age’ nearby who matched the description their neighbor had given them.”
You’ll have to visit http://avl.mx/00v to get the whole story, but the gist is: an altercation ensued, Goodman was assaulted, Fletcher contacted the police, “But it took an hour and 46 minutes for police and emergency medical personnel to show up,” according to the story.
The incident prompted Fletcher to air his frustrations on Twitter and complain directly to the APD. Deputy Chief Wade Wood and Capt. Tim Splain explained to Forbes that the department would analyze the situation to deduce exactly what caused the delays. “In the meantime,’ Wood admits, ‘We dropped the ball,’” Forbes reports.
Some readers agreed that prompt response time is crucial, but questioned the particular impetus for the story. “Why did it take a middle-class white male on Twitter for you to conduct an investigative report about an issue that has affected people of color and economically disadvantaged communities here (and throughout the U.S.) for years?” as Laura Eshelman wrote in a Sept. 18 Letter to the Editor. Others, such as Asheville mayoral candidate John Miall, felt the situation indicates a broader problem. “The APD is short 30 officers. ... The problem is city leadership. We need a change NOW!”
What do you think?
I blame Obama. —sharpleycladd
APD is short 30 officers. Response times are long. Crime rates are up, our streets and sidewalks are crumbling but we have millions for a museum. The problem is city leadership. We need a change NOW! — John Miall, mayoral candidate
This was a hilarious read. I almost thought it was an Onion piece. #whitepersonproblems — hazardo
"A delay on a call involving an armed suspect is extraordinarily rare." Depends on your definition of rare. There was recently a shooting in Malvern Hills Park, and police were late coming to the scene, and then left because they looked around the wrong end of the (pretty small) park for the altercation. Um, fail. — Yeppers
Slow news day then? It sounds like a lot of trouble over a BB gun (left outside). Also, If one has to go up against a guy with a gun, would it not be easier to bum rush him (hopefully with maybe more than 1 person) before a round is chambered?
Not that I'm advocating wrassling a kid with a gun unless it's life or death. Also, is it really relevant who the victim plays music with?
At least it didn't turn into a Trayvon Martin situation. That would definitely be Obama's fault. — boatrocker
When you want cops to respond quickly YOU MUST tell them Property is being destroyed. — Bearz
Can we assume that since a tag number was taken the APD has apprehended the culprits … — Jeff Murphy
This sounds like a whole lot of lame excuses from our police force. I hope that is not the case. Thank you, Andrew, for your activism. I hope David is healing. — Chelsea LaBate