Several Asbury Park business owners urged the City Council this week to establish foot patrols in the downtown area every Friday and Saturday night after what some called a “wild weekend.”
Complaints included vomiting, vandalism, urinating, defecating by bar patrons.
Only two weeks after saying he was willing to spend the money to set the tone for the downtown area before the summer season begins, Mayor John Moor said, “We lost the downtown again this weekend.”
Moor again made it clear he wants more of a police presence downtown during the weekends.
“I’m getting sick and tired of getting phone calls all weekend,” he said.
City Manager Michael Capabianco said he had spoken to Deputy Police Chief Anthony Salerno about the situation and also urged residents and business owners to call the police and report all incidents.
Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn echoed that advice.
“Police are allocated based on the number of reports in a given area,” she said.
Cookman Avenue resident Joe Grillo, who has lived in Asbury Park for 10 years said, “The downtown was a crazy mess. I’ve seen this over and over.”
He then said he watched from his window as a group of women attempted to defecate in the alley next to his house.
Grillo said he believes people coming into the city for a night out may think it’s OK to misbehave in the city.
“We’re Asbury Park, we’re supposed to be a little crazy, not follow the rules, but there are rules and ordinances (about) drunk people,” he said.
Fourth Avenue resident Michael Sodano called last weekend “The Wild West,” and said foot patrols will be a presence and a deterent.
A police officer at the meeting said anyone who exhibits drunken behavior can be charged with being a public nuisance or disorderly conduct but it is up to the discretion of the officer.
Moor said police have to do more than issue warnings to offenders.
“Letting people go with a warning is not cutting it,” he said.
Malcolm Navais, owner of Heaven on Cookman Avenue said the vestibule in front of his business looked like a vomitoriam on Sunday morning. He also said people had urinated there as well.
He also said he no longer puts planters out front because they have been broken and garbage cans on Cookman Avenue are routinely overturned.
“Nothings being done, we’re tired of it, it’s just horrifying,” he said.
Council members and business owners both agreed that foot patrols should be downtown from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. every weekend.
Police Officer Michael Casey of the Community Relations Unit said one remedy for the situation will be the eight recruits who are graduating this week from the Special II academy.
“There will be increased patrols and increased visibility,” he said.
Casey said there was one police report last weekend involving a fight at a downtown bar.