East Albany neighborhood says lack of jobs breeds crime - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

East Albany neighborhood says lack of jobs breeds crime

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - People who live in an East Albany neighborhood say crime is a growing problem there because of the bad economy and lack of jobs.

Dozens of people watched as one man was badly beaten in that neighborhood, his attacker arrested a block away.

People who live on Wheeler Avenue, about one mile from the heart of downown Albany, say there is a lot of desperation there.

Wednesday night about 6:30 this is where Police caught and arrested 43 year old Terry Lucas, charging him with aggravated assault and aggravated battery.

Police say he badly beat 57 year old Calvin Delaney with his fists and a shoe, in a dispute over a woman.

When we came down here this morning, folks who live in this neighborhood came up to tell us crime and fights are an almost nightly event, and blame the bad economy for most of the trouble.

Crime is a way in of life in this neighorhood.

Zavier Jones said "Everyday it's a different crime. I mean it's so many people out here on the streets."

Zavier Jones said many families stay in their homes, especially in the evening, because of the crime and violence.

Zavier Jones said "We scared to come out the door sometime. We scared to do this, we scared to do that. Because we don't know what's going on out in these streets."

Neighbors say Wednesday's beating is not unusual in this area, with violence growing out of frustration and a lack of hope.

Mike Jones said "A lot of this crime comes from not having a job. We ain't got no jobs, we ain't got no income."

And these neighbors are worried the problems will only get worse, as desperate people turn to crime.

Mike Jones said "They got to eat. They got to feed their kids. They got to pay their bills. That's why a lot of this stuff happens."

Zavier Jones said "Ain't no jobs, no money. So what they want us to do? Just sit here?" >

The people we talked to here on Wheeler Avenue said gangs and drugs were not really a big problem. But they say they are seeing more people in this neighborhood turning to violence and crime, as the recession carries on and hope starts to fade.

Lucas is being held in the Dougherty County Jail without bond.

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