North Park residents fed up with rash of violence

SAN DIEGO - A North Park artist says he and many others in the community feel terrorized after a rash of violent crime. He says the violence is getting so bad that he is ready to move.

"It's a great place to live. In fact, it is the gem of Southern California," said artist Sam Ballard.

Ballard has lived and worked on University Avenue for eight years and has seen the crime rate rise firsthand.

Last month, he saw two people fighting outside his home. He quickly turned from a witness into a victim.

"I went to take a picture," said Ballard. "At that point, the individual was about 8 to 10 feet away from me, saw me and attacked me."

Ballard was stabbed in the head and badly beaten. Luckily, the man responsible was caught.

10News asked police for the most recent crime stats for North Park but as of 5 p.m. Monday, they were still compiling numbers.

Just last week, police say two men attacked two women on different occasions. Earlier in the month, a man shot a woman and tried to take her purse. In April, there was a shooting at a North Park medical marijuana dispensary.

San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria says the city is taking these crimes very seriously.

"By in large, North Park is a very safe community but I'm in close communication with our police captain for North Park to make sure it's getting every bit of attention it needs to make sure those who have done these crimes are held accountable," he said.

North Park resident Daniel Sarver says the amount of recent violence does not surprise him.

"There have been times you've seen these characters … they look like they may be up to no good, but you're not really sure what to make of it," said Sarver.

Ballard says North Park is a tight-knit community and neighbors are banding together.

"We've become more aware. People are talking on the Internet, more neighbors are on Nextdoor and networks like that," he said.

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