REDMOND, Ore. - A weekend attack and stabbing involving several juveniles in Redmond prompted NewsChannel 21 to take a closer look at safety in the park where it happened. Hope Playground in Sam Johnson Park is where the assault took place.
The Redmond Police Department confirmed that this year, more police reports have been filed at Sam Johnson Park than any of the other roughly 20 parks it patrols.
Of the 121 reports, 53 took place there, and so did five out of six reported assaults.
Lt. Curtis Chambers said Tuesday that's a sizable number, but it’s not unusual.
“That’s not surprising, considering Sam Johnson Park is our most visited city park," Chambers said. "It is centrally located. It’s along the Dry Canyon trail. It’s between downtown and the Redmond High School, and it has long been a hub of activity in Redmond.”
Chambers said they also get a lot of complaints about teens doing things like swearing and using drugs. Angelica Alfaro brings her son to the playground and has seen it firsthand.
“It was just boys cursing,” she said, “spitting on each other with kids walking by, talking really vulgar. And my husband just called them out on it, like, ‘Hey, would you say that in front of your parents?’ And they just kind of looked at him like, ‘We don’t have to listen to you.’”
Like Alfaro, others at the park said they have noticed the activity, but have never felt like they were in danger.
“I definitely feel safe here,” Nichole Davis said. “I’ve never felt threatened by any means. But we’re usually here during the day.”
Chambers said the attack on Saturday evening that led to the arrest of three teens was an isolated incident, and although teens congregate there, they usually don't go past being rowdy or rude. He said all the city parks are extremely safe and are patrolled around the clock, with added security in the summer, when the cadet program begins.
“Our city parks are very safe,” he said. “They are an excellent place to spend your free time and bring your small children to enjoy. Hope Playground and Sam Johnson Park are excellent facilities that the whole city of Redmond should be proud to have.”