Business owners concerned about increased violence in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood will meet with the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce tonight.
So far, in the first three months of 2013, police say that the overall crime rate on Capitol Hill is down. But with thousands of new apartment units, as well as the opening of cafes, restaurants and clubs in the neighborhood, business owners and residents fear that violence is increasing as the population grows.
Five shop owners recently formed a "block watch" group to look out for and prevent violent crimes.
"Business owners need to take back Broadway. They need to stand up to people here that cause problems," said Angel Theurer, owner of Metro Clothing Co., who joined the block watch.
In related news, four men pleaded not guilty today to committing a hate crime against a young man on Capitol Hill.
The men, all who are from out of state, are accused of yelling racial and homophobic slurs at a 20-year-old black man before punching and kicking him last week.
A fifth suspect will be arraigned Monday.
All the defendants are in jail on $10,000 bail.