Is It Worth the Trip from Chesterfield to Delmar Loop?
Former cop considers the risks that could scare off suburbanites, or anyone.
If the Delmar Loop wants people from Chesterfield and West County to be regular customers, shouldn't these "anomalies" be addressed?
I was amused when local officials described the trouble on the Delmar Loop— which included crowds of 300 or more teenagers getting into fights, followed by three people shot—as being an “anomaly.”
How many more of these “anomalies” before fewer and fewer people flock to U. City? Not from Chesterfield, or other suburbs out this way.
Let’s go back over the last three years.
On Halloween night 2008, Todd Shepherd, an African-American with a deep resentment of whites, went to the Delmar Loop specifically to kill a white police officer. He found University City Police Sgt. Michael King, sitting in his patrol car on Leland Avenue at Delmar, and executed him.
Two months before King was murdered, Chad Garrison, then a reporter and now the managing editor of the Riverfront Times caused an uproar among Loop merchants when he wrote an article detailing how a 6pm curfew for teenagers at The Galleria was causing large groups of teenagers to hang out and cause trouble at the Loop.
Just prior to Garrison’s August 2008 article, a family was assaulted and robbed walking to the Loop Metro stop by a gang of kids. That assault was followed a few days later by a group estimated to be 400 teenagers in which several of the group assaulted an employee of PI pizza restaurant.
In April 2011, local media was reporting more incidents involving marauding groups of teens. It was bad enough that University City had to install surveillance cameras along the Loop—you don’t put up surveillance cameras unless you have a problem. Not only do you have to pay for the cameras, you have to pay for someone to watch them.
Over the last year, the most popular crime in the Loop has been thefts of cell phones off outside sidewalk tables. Young thieves snatch a PCD (personal communications device) off a table and run, while someone is eating.
At a recent press conference featuring city officials from University City, St. Louis and Loop businessman Joe Edwards (and his ponytail.) St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay referred to the people involved in the fights and subsequent shootings as “knuckleheads.”
That description led to the following comment, posted on Cop Talk, a St. Louis Police Officers message board:
"Knucklehead" is what my Dad would call me when I left the light on in a vacant room or the front door open with the a\c on. I think shooting up the neighborhood would have evoked a far different response from him!
Would you visit the Loop when you live in Chesterfield? Comments below.