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Recent attacks on women, kidnapping attempts have West Loop residents worried, calling for more police presence

By JERMONT TERRY

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    CHICAGO (WBBM) — West Loop residents remain frightened by the attempted kidnappings of two women in their neighborhood.

As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported Friday night, you might expect people in the West Loop to be looking over their shoulders while walking at night. But some residents said the same fear remains in daylight – especially after the recent attempted kidnappings.

And while police have someone in custody, that is not enough to ease concerns.

You can find people walking dogs and hanging with their children in the park, and plenty of bike riders in the West Loop. But there is one thing those living here say is lacking.

“Police could be out a little bit more,” said Reggie Pope.

“I haven’t seen an increased police presence in the neighborhood after that incident occurred,” said Stephanie Turner.

“That incident” was the attempted kidnapping near her home off Sangamon Street.

This week, Chicago Police arrested the man they say is connected to three incidents involving attacking or trying to force women into vehicles in the West Loop area in a matter of days.

Yet despite Quavon Ewing getting charged, residents like Turner say it is not enough.

“I just don’t think getting one person is going to solve the problem,” Turner said.

After 22 years of living in the West Loop, Turner admits she now feels unsafe – and it’s deeper than the crimes for which police arrested Ewing.

Turner recalls a scare just this week while walking.

“Three guys sitting in a car with the windows down, with a half ski mask on in the back seat – and that, I thought, OK, is it related to incident that happened?” she said, “and now that I know it’s not, it makes me think there would be copycats.”

Those living in the West Loop believe the crime is now centering around them – which is why a big turnout is expected Saturday morning at Mary Bartelme Park to address safety issues with police and Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th).

Pope still feels safe when he is out, saying “we live in a big city,” but he admits to seeing questionable guys following women.

“I see people walking in the neighborhood – I don’t know if they belong in the neighborhood. One lady is walking well ahead, and then there’s guy a maybe block away – looks like it may be a setup getting ready to happen,” he said. “But again, it’s about the common sense.”

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