CLEVELAND-- How safe are women in Cleveland?
Many have been asking that question since Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were rescued from a home on the west side, where they were held captive for 10 years.
And on the east side, multiple women have been murdered, abducted and assaulted since March.
“That is scary; that is really scary,” said Jeannette Triplett, “I mean it don’t seem to care about the age the race or anything.”
A meeting was held Monday night at Williams Chapel Church on E. 93rd St. to address those concerns and fears.
The church sits right in the middle of the area where the crimes keep happening.
Police have begun calling it the “E. 93rd Corridor” for that reason.
“Our women, until we find this predator or predators, are scared every day,” said Zack Reed, Councilman Ward 2.
Several city council members spoke and Cleveland Police 4th District Commander Deon McCaulley who said since March: Jasmine Trotter, 20, has been found murdered, under a porch; Christine Malone, 45, was discovered dumped in a field, as was Ashley Leszyeski, 21.
At the meeting, Commander McCauley discussed methods of protection for women like carrying mace, travelling in pairs and practicing alert walking without using cellphones or other distractions.
He said two other women were also grabbed, but good Samaritans scared the attackers away.
Police said more people need to pay attention to what’s happening around them and at a minimum, report what they know and see to police.
“We know people are reluctant to come forward simply because they’re scared,” said Commander McCauley. “But what I want to remind them is sometimes they’re already scared in the neighborhood.”
Officers were also at Monday's meeting to take tips or information from anyone who might have information about the recent crimes.
He couldn’t say if anything came in that might help the investigations, but just seeing the increased police patrols and concern in the area has had impact.
“I mean there is a big presence and we’re really grateful that Cleveland police are on top of things,” said Lanelle Perry.
The church congregation is continuing the community outreach with a free meal event Thursday, June 20.
Everyone is invited to the church at the corner of East 93rd and Sandusky at 6 p.m. for a free meal.