South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Austin Vaught
Contributing Writer 

Drug overdoses continue to be a problem in Carrick


August 15, 2017

Details surrounding July’s overdoses and drug arrests were presented by police at last Monday’s Carrick/Overbrook Block Watch meeting in the Zion Church basement on Brownsville Road.

Twelve overdoses occurred in Carrick and two in Overbook between July 3 and August 7, according to the monthly crime report presented by Zone 3 officer Christine Luffey.

“As we talked about before, it’s no secret.” officer Luffey said. “We have an epidemic. We are documenting every overdose that police are responding to in the city of Pittsburgh. That’s something we didn’t do until recently.”

Officer Luffey provided additional details about several drug related arrests that happened during the same time period.

On July 8 at 7:45 p.m. officers responded to a 911 report of a suspicious male and female sitting in a parked car on Parkfield Street. When officers approached the vehicle, the suspect allegedly yelled at the officer before giving consent to search the vehicle. Police uncovered illegal narcotics and arrested both at the scene.

A driver was pulled over in the 1400 block of Brownsville Road at 4:30 p.m. on July 22 after undercover police officers noticed the vehicle’s rear light was out.

According to police, the driver admitted to possessing a small amount of marijuana; however, officers uncovered a large quantity from the vehicle and a small digital scale. The suspect was arrested and charged with possession and intent to sell.

Employees at a business in the 2100 block of Brownsville Road called police after a man entered the restroom and remained there for 30 minutes. When police arrived, they found drug paraphernalia on the suspect. According to officer Luffey, the suspect was charged through summons.

Police were called to the 1900 block of Brownsville Road on July 20 after receiving reports of a male suspect running in and out of traffic. Police followed the man to a vacant apartment near the 2200 block of Brownsville Road. According to police, the man appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

When the suspect was approached, he attempted to strike an officer. He was arrested and faces several charges including public drunkenness and aggravated assault.

Arrests were made after officers stopped a vehicle near the intersection of Brownsville Road and Laughlin Avenue on July 27 at 11 p.m. Police discovered the driver of the vehicle was wanted on a warrant, and they found drugs on two other individuals.

Police were searching for a robbery suspect who fled to a home in the 1900 block of Westmont Avenue on July 28 at 5:52 p.m. When police entered the home, they discovered marijuana. Four occupants of the house were detained.

Another aggravated assault prompted police to respond to a 911 call on July 3 from a female who requested help in the 2300 block of Brownsville Road. According to police, multiple officers responded, and discovered a female had received a stab wound as a result of a domestic dispute.

In total, officer Luffey’s crime report listed 122 criminal incidents in Carrick and 12 in Overbrook between July 3 and August 7. Of the incidents in the report, 22 were for criminal mischief, 22 were listed as theft from person, five were aggravated assaults, and 16 were simple assaults.

Officer Luffey also encouraged residents to keep an eye on Phillips Park as there have been several reports of criminal mischief, littering, and equipment being vandalized.

Shortly before the crime report, a resident expressed concerns over the possibility of a new club at the corner of Brownsville Road and Maytide Street. According to the resident, a meeting notice was posted on the building, but it was behind a drain pipe and not in plain sight.

Block watch coordinator Carol Anthony said the Carrick Community Council is monitoring the situation, and the last meeting was postponed. Ms. Anthony said she’s unsure of a future date at this time.

Several residents complained about garbage, dumping, and overgrowth around the community. One resident said her block is filled with garbage because of negligent landlords. The resident said after tenants move out of surrounding apartment buildings, landlords fail to ensure garbage is removed from the block.

Ms. Anthony encouraged the resident to call 311 and said she’s planning to contact a city representative from Permits, Licenses, and Inspections to attend a future meeting.

Sophia Robison, the new city planner for the West End and South Pittsburgh neighborhoods, also introduced herself at the meeting and talked about the role she will play in the community.

Ms. Robison said she plans to keep an ongoing list of desired community actions and can help put initiatives into action from within city government.

“I can listen to you guys and take notes, and accumulate that institutional knowledge,” Ms. Robison said.

The next Carrick/Overbook Block Watch meeting will feature a drug presentation by Pittsburgh detective Calvin Kennedy. The meeting will return to the Concord K-5 auditorium on Monday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.


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