On patrol in Towson
Last night, I went out with the Towson Area Citizen's On Patrol group as they tourned several neighborhoods around York Road and Loch Raven Boulevard. I hoping to see them confront kids out for what has become "Mischief Night" -- the night before Halloween.
The constraints of newspaper deadlines made it difficult to stay out too late, and when I returned to the office around 8:30 it had been a quiet night. Well, quiet is an understatement. It was dead quiet. Of course, that practically guaranteed something would happen after I left. And indeed it did, as per the following e-mail from Karl Pfrommer, one of the patrol members.
Hello KIMCO managers,
While I was patrolling Thursday night BCPD officers were dispatched to control hundreds of college age people at the York Road Plaza. They were waiting to ride party-busses to late night entertainment venues in the city.
According to police, entrepreneurs hired the buses and students paid the entrepreneurs for transportation to and from the city. Six of the busses drove in a convoy south on York Rd. Two of the busses turned west onto Northern Parkway.
When other party-busses have returned about 3:00 am, there was public urination, vomiting, loud boisterous behavior, littering of the area and vandalism. (I do not know if that occurred last night.)
Police told me that similar gatherings have also occurred at Towson Place and other parking lots in the Towson area. (York Rd. Plaza and Towson Place are both KIMCO properties.) Towson University has banned these party-busses from their campus. If Towson can ban the busses, why can't you?
Shopping center owners like KIMCO and others might assist police with some of this activity. Send letters to BCPD and bus owners permitting or denying the use of their parking lots as party-bus pick-up and drop-off places. This should give police the authority to act according to your instructions.
I'd love to know to which bar the busses were going. It's been on going problem in the city as well.
Here are two responses from Kimko:
I tried to reach Kimco but calls to their headquarters got me nowhere. At one point, a secretary told me: "We don't have a public relations department so we're unable to respond to most media requests."
Well, how about this one?
I got transferred several times until I reached dead air.
A man named Scotty Sellman is listed on the the York Road Plaza's Internet site. I reached him on is cell phone and he first told me, "I don't know what you're talking about" and then referred me back to headquarters. He then said he's the leasing agent, not the property manager, so he really didn't have any oversight. He hung up before I could get the proper number to call.
But Pfrommer got two quick responses from Kimco managers. I won't divulge their names here until I get permission from them, but I also want to be fair to the company. Here is what they wrote:
"We have banned them at our Towson Center and have called the police for support several times."
The second response:
"Thank you for alerting us about this matter. We will address it immediately. Please contact me directly if this continues."