Recent spike in canal violence prompts increased IMPD presence

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INDIANAPOLIS — The city is filled with thousands of guests visiting from across the country for Gen Con and other weekend events. Many of the tourists will undoubtedly stop to see the canal.

CBS4 has been following a rash of assault cases that took place in the canal corridor in the last week. 

The assaults have prompted IMPD to increase their patrols of the area and encourage guests to visit in daylight hours. 

“I think in broad daylight I feel perfectly safe,” nearby homeowner Conrad Deel said. “I’m down here literally every day with my dog or my wife. But we don’t come in the evening.”

For all intents and purposes, the canal is Conrad Deel’s backyard. 

Even still, he doesn’t visit the water’s edge after dark.

“No, I do not because I don’t feel safe,” Deel said. “It would be a big help if the police were here much more often.”

Safety is, of course, of the utmost concern for IMPD who has responded to two assault cases in the canal area since Sept. 11 when at 9:30 p.m. a man who was out playing his guitar for money along the canal was assaulted and robbed by four men of several belongings and money.

Then three days later on Sept. 14 at 7:40 p.m. a man and woman were assaulted individually by six men. 

Everyone assaulted was not seriously injured and none of the suspects were found by the police, but the increased activity has IMPD on alert.

“What you’ll see is you’ll see officers out. We already do have extra patrols during, along the canal corridor,” IMPD Public Information Officer William Young said. “We’ll have our bike officers out here as well too.”

While you can’t put a cop on every corner, you can place cameras there and new lights too.

“They’re placing lights up cause we want folks to feel safe. We want folks to be comfortable when you walk along the canal,” Young said. “Kinda hard to predict when a crime’s gonna occur, we never know but that’s what it’s so important for that community collaboration.”

Officer Young says IMPD hopes the increased patrols help deter crime – especially on busy weekends.

“We’re exploring having our bike officers at different times, we’ll have officers at, extra patrols here per-se. Which we’re already doing,” Young said. “As always, if you see something, make sure you pick up the phone and dial 911. Our officers will be as responsive as we can be.”

Not an officer, but on a bicycle nonetheless…

Samuel Tandy comes to the canal as often as he can to escape.

“When I’m on the bike, I just forget about the outside world. Just be in my own little world,” Tandy said. “Being in nature. Just be free. Riding. It’s the best.”

Pedaling through his world at breakneck speed… at 15-years-old, even Tandy knows to be home before dark.

“I mean, I leave sometimes around 5 O’clock,” Tandy said. “Come down here and just have fun. Don’t worry about the negative stuff. Just vibe and be yourself and don’t get into trouble.”

Behavior that Officer Young would recommend for everyone.

“We will have officers on the canal, which we always do, extra patrols as well too. Our special events teams officers, they will be working as well too, but if you see something that just doesn’t feel right or is out of place make sure you dial 911,” Young said. “Our chief and our commanders at IMPD, their top priority is to make sure that our folks that stay here in the Circle City are safe as well as though who are visiting and we do realize that this is a, somewhat of a tourist attraction, again, we want folks to feel safe.”

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