North College Hill residents vow to take back community amid recent violence

NORTH COLLEGE HILL, OH (FOX19) - North College Hill police have been busy in recent weeks with violent attacks and robberies of the elderly and visually impaired, as well as two people stabbed.

Early Tuesday morning, two people were shot during a home invasion on De Armand Avenue. Police are investigating exactly what happened but both shooting victims are in the hospital and, so far, no arrests have been made.

Those are just a few of the incidents they've dealt with lately and a few of the incidents concerning the city's residents, who are now rallying to take back their community.

"It has been cowardly acts where individuals have preyed on people of either being disabled or elderly," said North College Hill Police Chief Gary Foust.

Those have come by way of street robberies turning violent at times. Add to that a double stabbing incident.

"It's terrible.  Nobody wants that in any any community," said Linda Braunwart, a resident of North College Hill.

Braunwart is a lifelong resident of the neighborhood, and it's something she's proud to be.  She hopes these incidents don't change the face of the place she loves.

"Of course you don't see any of the bad people here.  You just see the people that care.  We have a lot of people that care," Braunwart said.

Another resident, Jean Harp, has lived in North College Hill since 1960 and works with North College Hill Concerned Citizens.

"Living here and seeing the city go from one area to another, I'm sort of conditioned to it," Harp told FOX19.

But that doesn't mean she has to like it.

"I don't like it.  You have to realize, too, that you're not going to eradicate crime.  Crime's always going to be with us.  But we have to learn how to cope with it," Harp said.

Police Chief Gary Foust says most of these crimes were committed by people coming from outside his city who see an opportunity and are sometimes driven by drugs.Seeing his own opportunity, Foust took Monday night as a chance to put the community's fears to rest.

"The people in this community are willing to watch each other and support this community," Foust said.

In November, North College Hill voters were asked to pass a levy to help with staffing levels, among other things. At that time, Foust said sometimes the department is in a situation known as a "Code Zero" with no officers available. He said on Monday they're in the middle of upping staffing levels with three officers and an investigator by August.

In an incident in mid-June, Foust said police arrested three suspects accused of robbing and beating an elderly woman.  He says they've now identified two more persons of interest and expect more charges to come soon.

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