|Suburban Troublemaker Threatens SCPA Family?|
Yes, the school is in a rough part of downtown, an area that tiptoes into Over-the-Rhine. But nobody who lives in Over-the-Rhine is remotely at fault. The terrifying incident near the school last month involved a suburban woman who seems to have come from 20 miles away to cause trouble. The accused appears to have mental health issues. The SCPA mother, Stacey Calkins, has written to Mayor Mark Mallory pointing out that she and her 6-year-old daughter were walking to their car after school when targeted. Her letter raises a question: Does Cincinnati's crime rate suffer because out-of-town troublemakers cluster in a few pockets near downtown where they harass the city's law-abiding populace? Why should Cincinnati be ground zero for those who are unstable or socially unfit?
In her letter,Calkins spoke of her terror when confronted. And she wondered if it is wise for a school to have the Drop Inn Center, a homeless shelter, as a neighbor.
She does not consider it a compatible arrangement. The police report says woman who was arrested lived in an apartment complex on Park Avenue in Loveland, a suburb about 20 miles away. The police report does not explain what the 22-year-old Loveland woman was doing outside SCPA. It does say she was "arrested, threatened to kill both victims. Also resisted arrest by fighting the police.'' The accused is white and her defense lawyer, an assistant public defender, has filed notice that she is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity.
Calkins said she believes the attacker was visiting the Drop Inn Center. From the letter:
"I believe Ms XXX may have been visiting the Drop Inn Center before she targeted my daughter and me and we walked to our car after school . . .
"I clearly understand the case does not involved the Drop Inn Center [directly]. I also understand the Drop Inn Center and the 1132 Bar existed in their current location before the new SCPA was built. However, I have serious concerns regarding the fact that both are located right beside the school. During the last 1.5 years that my daughter has attended the new SCPA, I have witnesses individuals smoking marijuana and crack, drinking alcohol from open containers, and a man assaulting a woman in Washington Park.
"The incident with Ms. XXX was absolutely terrifying. I feared she would injure me and take my daughter. I do not want something to happen again to my daughter, myself or anyone else. We need to feel safe around our school.
"What can I do to protect my child, myself, other children, parents and teachers at SCPA? I want to work cooperatively to advocate a safe school environment as as soon as possible. What positive things can I do to pull our community together to address these issues? I care about the homeless by my child is my number 1 priority."
UPDATE 2:12 p.m. -- Kudos should go out to two Cincinnati police officers, Sgts. Joe Priestle and Steve Saunders. The mom reports they have been responsive and "helpful in addressing my questions and concerns." It is also disturbing is that the 170-pound suspect apparently tried to fight with Patrolman John Taulbee at the time of her arrest.