South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Austin Vaught
Contributing Writer 

Combined meeting highlights Carrick council, crime reports

 


Updates on crime and community development were the main topics at a combined meeting between the Carrick / Overbrook Block Watch and the Carrick Community Council (CCC) on Monday, June 3 at 25 Carrick Avenue.

The block watch took the first half as Zone 3 officer Christine Luffey shared news of an arrest made at a residence in the 1700 block of Leolyn Street just earlier in the afternoon.

Details surrounding the charges were not yet available; however, officer Luffey confirmed it was the result of multiple complaints from block watch and community members who had observed ongoing drug traffic in and around the home.

“We’d been receiving complaints of people selling drugs, officer Luffey said. “It’s very close to the park.”

She also described several other criminal incidents that took place throughout the Carrick neighborhood over the previous 30 days:

According to her report, police responded to a 9-1-1 call about a person experiencing convulsions inside a vehicle in the 1900 block of Westmont Avenue on May 9 at 11:30 a.m. Officers discovered a male sitting in the driver’s seat with an uncapped hypodermic needle and belt around his upper bicep. He was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Another man is facing drug charges after he was pulled over on May 21 for failing to signal when turning on to Oakhurst Street. Police spotted heroin on the lap of a passenger when they approached the vehicle and found 15 total stamp bags of heroin and a small amount of crack-cocaine after conducting a search.

A vehicle crashed into a home on East Meyers Street on May 9 at 5:40 p.m. According to the report, a man at the scene told officers a driver in a mini-van pulled up next to his vehicle and fired shots. When the man attempted to flee, he accelerated into a parked vehicle sending it crashing into the home.

The incident is under investigation and officers are reviewing surveillance footage of the incident; however, police say the victim has not been cooperative.

An off-duty police officer witnessed a pick-up truck crash into another vehicle on May 23 at 11:05 a.m. while driving on Nobles Lane. The off-duty officer called 9-1-1, and when police arrived, they found 153 empty stamp bags of heroin in the truck. The driver of the truck is facing charges.

A female was robbed in the 2600 block of Brownsville Road on May 23 at 10 p.m. According to the victim, a man stole her purse after she refused to buy cigarettes for him. Police are investigating.

Another robbery occurred on May 25 at 7:30 p.m. when a 53-year-old victim was assaulted near the intersection of Brownsville Road and Churchview Avenue. According to police, the victim was robbed and beaten by three or four African American males between the ages of 18 and 25. His phone and bank cards were stolen.

Officers responded to reports of a violent domestic dispute in the 2500 block of Edgar Street on May 25 at 8 a.m. According to police, a 25-year-old female stabbed a male victim in the leg with a kitchen knife and beat him in the head with the handle. The suspect was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

Officer Luffey said warmer weather typically leads to a higher crime rate and more complaints about overgrowth, abandoned vehicles, and neighbor disputes.

“Honestly, ‘tis the season,” officer Luffey said. “I know when warm weather comes my schedule is going to get a lot busier than it is in the winter.”

When officer Luffey asked if anyone in attendance had complaints for her to take back to the station, multiple residents reported individuals squatting, causing damage, and removing window boards from the abandoned Berg Place apartment buildings.

Following the brief block watch meeting, CCC board committee chairs each provided updates on various components of the organizations 2019 strategic plan.

Beautification Committee Chair Linda Donahue reported volunteers collected 50 bags of garbage in Carrick during an Earth Day clean-up event on April 20. She said the CCC is also seeking volunteers to help Carrick participate in the City of Pittsburgh’s second annual Garbage Olympics on September 21 from 9 - 11 a.m.

Ms. Donahue added the CCC will be partnering with Tree Pittsburgh this summer to maintain and mulch the trees on Brownsville Road.

Capacity Committee chair Donna McManus announced residents will need to register for future community events via the EventBrite.com website. The website will provide an accurate attendance account for each event so the committee is able to provide enough food or supplies.

Ms. McManus also spoke about several CCC-sponsored events including an Easter Egg Hunt in April that drew more than 196 people. The next public events will be the annual Halloween party in October and the Carrick Light-up Night in December.

She also encouraged residents to sign-up for a $5 CCC membership, which does not expire. CCC cardholders are granted unlimited access to both the Heinz History Center and the Fort Pitt Museum.

“It’s the best $5 you’ll ever spend,” Ms. McManus said.

Ms. McManus also spoke on behalf of the Community and Commercial Development Committee, which is planning a “Taste of Carrick” event on June 15 in the Dairy District Pavillion. The event will feature food vendors from local businesses in Carrick.

She added the CCC is looking to strengthen its relationship with the Carrick Business Association in order to form relationships with business owners in the community.

“It’s going to take a bit of time,” Ms. McManus said. “It’s been dormant for a while, but we’re going to start building relationships and reaching out.”

Residential Revitalization Committee Chair Ron Jardini reported he is working to create a list of the top 10 nuisance properties in Carrick and will share it with various city departments. He also said the long-term plan is to find office space so community members can stop-in and talk about potential projects.

The last speaker was Andy Miscuk, chair of the Positive Press Committee. Mr. Miscuk said the organization will be promoting events digitally on both its website and Facebook page, but he does not want to neglect physical media and will continue to distribute handouts and posters to businesses along Brownsville Road.

Anyone who wishes to promote a local event via the CCC Facebook page or website can email CarrickCommunityCouncil@gmail.com.

At the end of the meeting, CCC board president Sherry Brown announced community group Love Carrick is hosting a community dinner gathering on Sunday, June 16 from 5 - 6 p.m. in the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer Social Hall, 1628 Brownsville Road.

The next Carrick / Overbrook Block Watch meeting is Monday, July 1 at 25 Carrick Avenue. The next CCC public meeting date has not yet been announced.

 

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