Battling Crime on Island
It has been my experience and education that criminal activity oftentimes derives from lack of opportunity or the possibility of great gain for minimal input or labor. As a Wheeling Island resident since 1993, I have been the victim of criminal activity (burglary, vandalism, trespassing, prowlers, and attempted robbery) no less than a dozen times. I have not invited any of these actions nor have I condoned these actions.
Within two houses of me have been continuing drug usage and sales for these 25 years and at least one murder, recently a 23-year-old girl leaving a 2-year-old daughter. Despite the stringent efforts of our police force, these activities continue unabated.
Recently a gang of 10-12-year-old males have taken to the streets, vandalizing property at will. They prowl day and night on bicycles and afoot, usually shirtless and with masks over their faces. Officers have told me and my wife that they are hard pressed to catch them in the act, as these youth know how to hide and I have personally seen them attack moving vehicles on Ohio Street, which I reported. Officers have praised me for reporting criminal activity as I see it and suffer it, as this is the only way to schedule patrols and coverage.
However, these reports apparently also raise eyebrows, because in reporting crime it makes Wheeling Island look bad, as these reports go to the Department of Justice as well as other agencies and figures in scoring communities for habitability. That said, August 31 at 9 a.m. I will appear before the Wheeling Code Enforcement Board of Appeals for the fourth or fifth time as the city attempts to condemn my home. This recent violation notice appears to have been triggered by my reporting recent vandalism to my property and the watchful eye of the Wheeling Island Neighborhood Crime Watch.
Because, as we all know, if the house were abandoned and empty, as it was from 1986 to 1993, no crime would take place on the Island. Or at least, no crime would be reported. For the record, I and my wife are the only occupants of the property, are in no danger to our health, safety or welfare, and our only fear is of our government itself. And that from two decorated military veterans.
Anthony Domenick (U.S. Air Force)
Pamela Jane Domenick (U.S. Army, Retired Disabled)