Saturday, June 3, 2023 3:18AM
CLAREMONT, The Bronx (WABC) — It may not be summer yet, but by Claremont Park in the Bronx, there are signs it is near – tank tops are back, and kids are shooting hoops in the street.
Manny Cruz knows all about these streets. He was raised in the Bronx and his hardware store has been open on Morris Avenue for 35 years. It is the kind of mom-and-pop shop where only he remembers where to find things. He also remembers the 80s.
“It was bad, very bad. Now it’s changing to better, but it’s not like the way it’s supposed to be,” Cruz said.
Cruz and a number of local business owners say worse than the violent crime these days is the homelessness, drugs, poverty, and mental health issues plaguing their neighborhood. A place where drug deals happen out in the open with children nearby.
“I don’t think the city is taking care of those things. I think the city has to do more for those people,” Cruz said.
In fact, crime stats released by the NYPD show crime citywide in May is down compared to May of last year. Murder is down by more than 33 percent, rape is down by 21 percent, and robberies and burglaries down more than 11 percent.
In this part of the Bronx, things are trending in the wrong direction. Within a 24-hour span, there were three separate shootings in the 44 Precinct. Two of those victims were unintended targets.
“I mean, we stay inside because we come out at night, the guns are just going off,” said Ramon Majica.
There are police officers in almost every direction you look, but residents say they just want more attention and care.
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