Tower District residents banding together to fight crime

FRESNO, Calif.

They say a recent homicide that happened just around the corner is exactly the type of crime they want to prevent.

Live music bands, entertained the large crowds that gathered at the Starline in the Tower District Saturday night.

All the money collected at the door and through an auction will go to benefit the Tower District neighborhood watch patrol.

"This is our neighborhood and who better to take care of it than us," said Christina Orozco. "Our city is in a budget crisis and we don't have enough police to patrol on the streets."

The patrol team has kept watch over the neighborhood since last November when residents saw a spike in crime.

Christina Orozco said, "Our team has seen people that we are pretty positive were up to no good, and we scared them out of our neighborhood just by being present."

Just last week, the patrol spotted transvestite prostitutes they say were stealing lawn ornaments from a residence. The team stopped the crime from occurring and notified the police. But crime they say is on the rise.

On Friday morning, 32-year-old Eric Catlapp was stabbed outside a Tower District business. Police are still looking for a suspect.

"It's very disappointing that we've lost so many lives and had so many violent crimes in the tower," said Christina Orozco. "This is not what the tower district is about."

And the neighborhood watch is hoping to change that with increased patrols and better equipment. Money raised will help pay for walkie talkies to improve communication with patrol teams.

Riviera Semrau said, "They have my ten bucks so they can use it to get what they need. And people don't realize what they need."

A group of concerned residents banding together to fight crime and take back their community.

And organizers hope to raise more than $3,000.00 to buy those walkie talkies for the people on patrol.

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