Manayunk Bars Ruining the Neighborhood?

An increase in violence and lewd behavior has some Manayunk residents calling for change

By David Chang
|  Tuesday, Sep 15, 2009  |  Updated 6:00 AM EDT
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Exclusive: Manayunk Shooting Vicitms Speak Out

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Some people who live in Manayunk are fed up with the bar scene.

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Exclusive: Manayunk Shooting Vicitms Speak Out

The Odoms aren't blaming the bars in Manayunk for their shooting, but they want the patrons to clean up their act.
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An off-handed comment earned two Manayunk siblings gun shot wounds to the legs and a stay in the hospital. Karim and Anisha Odoms were shot after getting into an argument with a group of drunk women outside the Manayunk Brewery & Pub last Monday, according to police.

Karim claims he laughed at the women as they stumbled down Main Street. This led to an argument, which ended with the group's  male friend opening fire on the Odoms' car in a crowded parking lot, according to police.

“I remember the glass from the windshield coming towards my face,” said Karim. Both suffered gunshot wounds to the leg. Julius Walker, 22, was later arrested and charged for the crime.

The incident was one of many disturbances related to public intoxication. Some of the people who live in Manayunk are fed up.

“You put 1,000 drunk people out on the streets, something happens every night,” said Kevin Smith, president of the Manayunk Neighborhood Association.

His organization -- composed of volunteers -- shot a video of the bars letting out one night last November, depicting numerous incidents of arguments and fights involving inebriated bar hoppers.

“You just have groups of people going by every 15 minutes, shouting at each other and yelling, and sometimes fighting,” Smith said. “People use every nook and cranny around Main Street as a urinal, or worse.”  Smith also claims homeowners have experienced various thefts and vandalisms.

Although Smith wants to see stricter enforcement and police presence in Manayunk, that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon due to the city’s looming budget crisis.

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