Recently, my friends at City Bakery on Biltmore Avenue were attacked by a razorblade-wielding woman who was attempting to steal a tip jar. As someone who works near the City Bakery location, I can attest to an escalation in disruption of business on our stretch of Biltmore Avenue over the past year. Now that these disruptions (from the usual panhandling to a raving man spewing expletives in the business where I work) have escalated to assault with a deadly weapon, I have to ask what the Asheville Police Department intends to do.
I can step out the back door and see people drinking out of open containers, urinating in public, smoking pot etc. I can look out our front windows midday and see intoxicated people staggering across Biltmore Avenue or asking every passerby for change, including patrons of the bakery who are simply trying to enjoy a meal in the open. If I can see this on a daily basis, then why can’t the police see these same activities and do something about it?
Every time an incident happens, we call the police and report it. That diligence has not resulted in a more visible police presence. I hope that the recently touted APD foot patrols will reach our section of downtown. If not, the next story in the daily paper could be one with a much more tragic ending.
— Michelle Raiford