When does a Signal 22 (disturbance) become a riot or a rumble?
When you live in the neighborhood of South Middle River!
I recieved this disturbing e-mail from a man that lives in a townhouse at the corner where the “riot” occured this past Wednesday evening.
The letter speaks for itself –
Thank-you for calling earlier this evening to ask me about the “riot” that took place in the street in front of our home the evening of Wednesday December 14, 2011.
I attached all of the photos that I took. Unfortunately they’re of VERY poor quality.
My intent was to email them to Chief Frank Adderley. I didn’t send any of them to him at the time because I was so disappointed in how poorly they came out. I took these photos between roughly 7:00 PM and 7:30 PM on Wednesday December 14, 2011.
You didn’t ask me for this timeline information but I will provide it, in case it helps with anything.
I arrived home from my job at Imperial Point Medical Center. I drove into my garage and as I usually do, walked out to my mailbox to get my mail.
Looking East down NW 11th Street toward Andrews, I saw a large crowd of mostly young people walking west-bound, toward the intersection in front of my townhome at NW 11th Street and NW 2nd Avenue. There were already some kids gathered in the middle of the street ahead of them, near me, and I overheard them saying something about a big fight and “here they come” and things of the sort. Because it was such a large crowd approaching, I became a little fearful and decided it was best if I go in the house and close the garage door.
I went upstairs and watched as the crowd approached, from our second floor bedroom window. There were kids as young as roughly 10 or 12 years old right up to adults, but most of them were in their mid to late teens, by my estimate. As I get older it seems as if “kids” look younger and younger all the time. LOL!
As the crowd started to gather, there were LOTS of explatives exchanged between them. It was starting to get dark. Some came into the intersection with pieces of tree branches and they were swinging them, others were swinging their fists and showing various gestures of aggression toward each other. I counted somewhere between 40 and 50 in the intersection, every single one of them black, if that’s relevant.
6:02 PM: As the crowd grew and the levels of aggression seemingly escalating, I grew increasingly frustrated, angry and fearful for my property, so I decided it was time to call 911. While I was on the phone with the 911 operator, one of the females removed her shirt and was standing there in her bra, with fists drawn, ready to fight. I told the 911 operator what I was seeing. The 911 operator asked me if I thought anyone needed paramedics. I told her not so far or something like that, but that we needed the police to come break this up. She asked me if I would like an officer to follow-up with me and I told her “yes, I would” so I provided my name and my phone number to call me back. As of the time of writing this email on Friday night, no one has yet to do that follow-up with me. So much for customer service!!
Anyhow, it was only a matter of minutes before a Fort Lauderdale police cruiser drove up NW 11th Street, west-bound, from Andrews. I was pleased they arrived as quickly as they did. The cruiser’s emergency lights were on and he toggled the siren on and off. The crowd dispersed like cockroaches. However, I quickly became very disappointed in the officer’s actions; the officer never so much as stopped or got out of the cruiser. He simply turned right onto NW 2nd Avenue, proceeding north toward NW 13th Street, and drove out of sight. No sooner was he gone the crowd was back in the middle of the street again, just as many as was there before the cruiser drove through. I thought to myself, “yeah, that was real helpful. Thank-you Fort Lauderdale police for protecting my neighborhood.” I was very disgusted.
You don’t see very many people in some of the photos because they were either between me and the tree, making for a poor camera angle, running away from the police as they approached, or was trying to avoid me when they saw the flash flashing.
The crowd was thick in the middle of the intersection and the cars trying to get through had to stop in the middle of the street, blowing their horns to get them to move out of the way; they paid absolutely no attention to the cars whatsoever. That’s when a white car drove up NW 11th street the same direction as the first cruiser did. But instead of trying to drive through the crowd, they surprised me (and them) by turning on their emergency lights and three policemen got out of the car. It was an unmarked police vehicle. The officers started yelling at the crowd and the crowd once again scattered like cockroaches when one turns on a light.
By the time it was all said and done, I think the police came and left three or four times before they finally figured out that the crowd just kept coming back as soon as they left, so then a cruiser lingered in the middle of the intersection for quite some time and it was finally all over.
The whole incident was quite frightening.
If I may editorialize before I close, we moved to this spot approximately two years ago from Dorsey Riverbend. We lived on NW 2nd Street across from Dixie Court for almost 8 years. I was friends or at least aquaintances with several of the neighbors there, but I thought when we moved to NW 11th Street and NW 2nd Avenue, that we were finally moving to what I thought was at least a somewhat better neighborhood. Much to my huge disappointment, it’s
In two years I’ve experienced being chased by two kids on bicycles, trying to knock me off of my bike yelling, “hey that’s my bike, give it back”, getting shot at in my own driveway by kids on bikes with paint ball guns, have had to clean raw egg yolks and egg shells off of our windows, have experienced someone breaking off our low voltage outdoor lighting we have along our fence, have had multiple plants broken off and killed, had the mailbox vandalized and mailbox pole sheared off at the ground, and frankly I’m sick of it.
Neighbors on every side of us have been robbed one or more times over the past year. We’ve lost several neighbors we were just getting to know because they moved due to their belongings being stolen and they were fearful living here. There has been several instances of neighbors’ car windows getting smashed overnight.
I am so sick and tired of this B.S. I don’t live in a 3rd world country. I live in Fort Lauderdale and expect to have some semblance of order, but I apparently have expectations that are way too high. All I hear from the police are excuses. Excuses that they’re too busy. Excuses that there’s been cut-backs due to budgetary problems and they don’t have enough man power. Excuses that judges release from jail within 24 hours these underage kids that the police arrest time and time again. Blah, blah, blah.
I’m tired of excuses. It’s time for some meangingful action. If there is anything you can do to help us, it would be most appreciated.
Thank-you for your time,
NW 11th Street