No summer break for crime at 4th and Winkler

No summer break for crime at 4th and Winkler

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Classes start soon at the University of Louisville, a time that the campus police chief said is the most vulnerable for crime. When it comes to crime and UofL, it's crime just outside of campus on the periphery that's been grabbing headlines:

In late 2016, two football players were shot at a party at The Retreat. In June, just up the street at 4th and Industry, there was a reported sexual assault and robbery. Just couple blocks up from there, WAVE 3 News received complaints about 4th and Winkler, next to student affiliated housing.

WAVE 3 News checked LMPD's Crime Tracker to get more information about the area. The intersection of 4th and Winkler stands out from most every other corner in Louisville: there have been 35 crimes reported there over the past six months. Crimes include assault, theft, robbery, burglary, handguns, and numerous drug charges.

I sat in a car at 4th and Winkler and recorded what's going on.

It never takes long to record guys pulling out big, stashed baggies of what appears to be a white powdery substance. Frequent hand to hand transactions could be seen, and they were constantly counting cash. Many sat out in the open packing blunts, often using drugs right there and overdosing.

One businessman said heroin and spice cause most collapses in the area. The Louisville Metro Police Department didn't know I was there, and they were everywhere, even parked in the same spots I was using. They pounced on a group of guys I was recording, who scattered but were caught down the alley.

"Within that 4th and Winkler stretch, it is particularly bothersome and been a challenge for a very long time," LMPD 4th Division commander Josh Judah said.

Judah added that the area has a disproportionate number of boarding houses and temporary housing with a constantly changing population of at-risk people.

"When you have at risk population you often have what you've seen in your investigation is people who come to pray on them," Judah said.

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What, if anything, can UofL police do about situations like this? The campus police chief said they have jurisdiction county wide, so they don't have to stay on campus.

"We try to concentrate out patrols within the campus and within the borders just outside of campus," Lt. Col. Kenneth Brown said. "But that doesn't mean we won't move a little to the east, west, north or south depending on what's going on. We don't tell anybody to avoid any certain neighborhood because crime trends seem to come in and out of various neighborhoods."

The manager of Speedy Mart refused to do an interview with WAVE 3 News about what's going on in his lot. A worker at Cardinal Liquors said he wouldn't feel safe even getting gas at this corner. None of this is news to the students and residents who live around there.

"Pretty quick the first week we were here, we heard gunshots," one student said.

"There's a lot of people that just stand around and cause a lot of chaos," another neighbor said.

"It's very hard," a different neighbor added. "You have to look over your shoulder every time you walk down the street to make sure nobody is coming up behind me," another neighbor said.

"There's a lot of very good people who live around that area who are sick and tired of what they're dealing with," Judah said. "That's why you and I are having this conversation."

It's a conversation that will continue because the problem doesn't appear to be going away in the crime computer or on camera.

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