Concerned North Park residents take part in town hall meeting over attacks on women

SAN DIEGO - North Park residents living in fear after a string of attacks took part in a town hall meeting on Saturday to raise awareness.

After five recent attacks in North Park, a community is feeling on edge and concerned over no arrests.

"You shouldn't always have that fear perpetrating inside of you and not wanting to go out at night. It's really frustrating," said Kendra Smith, who says she was attacked in early May.

Despite signs warning of security cameras, she says the attack occurred in an alley near University Avenue and Idaho Street. It was 10:30 p.m. and she was on her way home from a friend's house when a man ran up from behind.

"I was being strangled," said Smith. "He had me by one arm. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't yell. I was kicking."

She eventually escaped and called for help.

Some neighbors brought up concerns about not enough street lighting while others planned to make a Facebook group page so neighbors can be more connected.

"This is our community. We will be taking it back and we're going to take action," said one man at the meeting.

Edwin Lohr, who is with the North Park Citizens Patrol, asked for more volunteers.

"I'm sorry, but I've been with the citizens patrol for a while now," he said. "I go up and down the streets sometimes. I just feel hopeless, like no one's out there helping me."

Meanwhile, Smith has made a slow recovery. She has gone through therapy, has taken self-defense courses and now carries pepper spray.

"Being more aware and know what's happening around me," she said.

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