East Side residents noticing drop in recent violence

Area plagued by shootings weeks ago now seems calmer, residents say

SAN ANTONIO – Some people who live on the East Side say the cooler temperatures that arrived in the city Wednesday morning aren’t the only welcome change they’ve noticed.

They say they’ve also seen a drop in the violence that has plagued their neighborhood recently.

"It's kind of quiet. I guess it's wintertime now and they just cool it down a little bit," said August Haimes, III.

Haimes’ Hays Street home is just down the block from an area that has seen its share of trouble, the corner near N. New Braunfels Avenue.

Late last month, there were back-to-back shootings on two days. One of them happened early on a Sunday morning and sent three people to the hospital.

Roy Bravo happened to be working outside a restaurant across the street that morning and saw the commotion.

"There were a lot of police officers across the street and a lot of things that were going on," Bravo said.

Now, though, it’s a much different scene, he said.

Bravo said a lot of the regular “troublemakers” he used to see in the area are gone.

“I would say a bad crowd. They were back there, they were here. I don’t see that crowd anymore,” he said.

In all, there were seven shootings on the East Side around that time.

In a news conference September 20, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus promised to address the violent street.

“We have a lot of resources on the East Side. Undercover people. Uniformed people,” McManus said at the time.

Now, some people are crediting the increased police presence for the change.

“We definitely don’t want to jinx anything,” said Sgt. Mario Ramirez who works in the East Side district. “It has slowed down a bit. That’s a good thing.”

Ramirez said the apparent drop in violence allows him to focus on the better side of the job, interacting with law-abiding people who live in the community.

How long the calm will last, though, is a question on many people’s minds, including Haimes.

“We are praying on it,” he said.

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