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Violence on Boston Common concerns business owners "we're a tourism city"

Violence on Boston Common concerns business owners
Violence on Boston Common concerns business owners 02:26

BOSTON - Dave Blanchard sees a lot from his jewelry kiosk on the Boston Common. He caters to the many tourists who visit the popular destination, but admits he sometimes worries for his own safety. "To a certain extent I do. We become concerned when acts of violence come within close proximity to our business," said Blanchard.

Late Thursday night there was a stabbing near the Brewer Fountain as Boston police say four people walking to their hotel tried to intervene in a road rage argument between two groups. Someone took out a knife and stabbed one of the visitors in the abdomen and injured three others.

"Why are we waiting for something to happen, we can't wait until the last minute," said Hany Gad who owns Lambert's Marketplace across from the Common. He says there needs to be a stronger police presence and blames a large homeless population and drug use for much of the violence.

He says he watched Monday night as police arrested a Lynnfield man who allegedly fired a gun inside the Common seriously injuring another person. "We need action from the police, city and state. We need to be together to help us clean up," said Gad.

Emergency public safety meeting   

The recent incidents are enough that City Councilor Ed Flynn called for an emergency public safety meeting with the Boston Common on the radar screen. "We desperately need a stronger police presence and enforcement to deter criminal activity," said Flynn.

Michael Nichols with the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District says they are isolated incidents but also part of a pattern. "It brings renewed attention to an area in need of collective action and energy to ensure the safety broadly enjoyed downtown is maintained," said Nichols.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu insists that is happening. "Traditionally we know during the summer with places people gather we need to have extra resources to make sure everyone is safe," Wu said.

Hany Gad says he's seen enough with his own store frequently robbed and even damaged, parts of the glass shattered on the doors to his store.

Freedom Trail tour guide Sean Caron says the city's reputation is at stake. "We're a tourism city," Caron said. "A lot of people get scared once they hear a shooting. A lot of people don't want to go that area."

It's the time of year the city wants to bring people in. 

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