Howard Park working to stop violence this summer

NOW: Howard Park working to stop violence this summer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Recent fights at Howard Park have some parents worried about their kids’ safety going into the summer. 

“There’s fights starting to occur and it’s sad,” says Megan Ellsworth, a parent at the park. 

The most recent fight, happening just Wednesday night, has turned away families already. 

“We were getting back from the dog park; we like to take our dog there and sometimes we come to the human-kid park to play, but there was like five cop cars blocking off the road, so we didn’t get to do that,” explains Brittany Deshone, another parent that frequents the park. 

South Bend Police say fights at Howard Park have been an issue for months, and some have even been caught on surveillance video. The police department released the footage in April when they called for the violence to stop among teens and young adults. 

Some of those fights even happen during the daytime when the park is busiest, flooded with little kids and their parents. 

“It’s a place where kids are supposed to be able to come and enjoy themselves,” Ellsworth says. 

Police say the trend is that violence tends to happen more often as the temperatures get warmer, and that’s something Howard Park staff is aware of. They’re actively working to prevent fighting at the park. 

Parents say they feel better coming to the park knowing that staff and police are patrolling the park more regularly.  

“If I didn’t see the cop car over there or signs saying this is being recorded, we probably wouldn’t have stopped by,” Ellsworth admits. 

Howard Park staff says they will soon have a plan to combat the violence happening at the park. 

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