KSAT Defenders analyze park crime in San Antonio

Assaults, thefts, lewd activity and more found in SA parks

A KSAT 12 Defenders analysis of crime in San Antonio parks turned up assaults, wanted persons, lewd behavior and numerous incidents of illegal drugs, thefts and burglaries.

Of the largest parks, Southside Lions Park generated the most police calls in 2013.

There were ordinance violations and minor disturbances in this peaceful setting, but there were also 14 reports of drugs or alcohol and 10 thefts or burglaries.

Twelve times wanted persons were reported in the park. Southside Lions was one of the parks featured in an earlier Defenders report on park budgets as a favorite fishing spot.

Chenoa Magott visited the park Friday and was unaware of the crime statistics. "I'm surprised," Magott said. "You know I come here with my family on the weekends and it always seems like it's such a family friendly place."

Jennifer Brown was also in the park Friday and was a first-time visitor. On a sunny afternoon she too was surprised at the high number of police calls. "That's kind of shocking but it's odd because you can see everywhere you are," Brown said.

Next on the list of parks with the highest crime was downtown's Brackenridge Park. People from San Antonio celebrate Brackenridge for its many recreational opportunities, but there is also crime.

There were 12 reports of drugs and alcohol abuse, 10 burglaries or thefts, four wanted persons reported and an assault.

Another downtown area park is next on the list.

At Olmos Basin Park there were 66 calls for police in 2013. Some were for minor curfew or pooper-scooper violations, others were more serious.

Topping the list were calls for indecent or lewd behavior at 11 reports. There were also 11 reports of theft or burglary. Three assaults were reported and there were four reports of wanted persons.

Frequent park visitor Fernando Centeno said crime was worse in the past. "As long as we continue with police presence that'll deter (crime)," Centeno said.

At other large parks, Hardberger Park had 45 police calls in 2013, Friedrich Park had 18, McAllister Park had 15 and Eisenhower had 13.

As for O.P. Scnabel Park, where jogger Lauren Bump was killed on Dec. 31, 2013, there have been mostly minor incidents over the last year, most where a police officer was not involved. There were also two minor assaults.

For a list of recent stories Brian Mylar has done, click here.

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