Rochester, N.Y. – A video showing a chaotic and dangerous scene in the St. Paul Quarter when bars and clubs close has made its way to the police chief.
The video, taken on the first Friday in January, shows numerous fist fights, a shooting, and a man kicking a police car. All of this happened within sight of a heavy police presence less than a block away.
13WHAM News spoke to the man who took the video from his apartment window and uploaded it to Youtube. He does not want to be identified. The scenes in the several-minute-long video played out over about 45 minutes. The shooting, which appears in the first clip, appears after some of the fighting shown later in the video.
“It’s terrible. It’s crazy I can look out my window and see this stuff happening,” said the resident. “Makes you feel like you’re not safe can’t walk outside by yourself can’t go out at nighttime. This is where you live.”
The resident said gunshots are not common, but unruly crowds and fighting is a regular occurrence on weekend nights, and some weeknights.
When 13WHAM News asked the police chief about the video, he had already seen it. He said it didn’t shock him.
“I think the video speaks for itself,” said Chief James Sheppard. “The community that has reached out to us has expressed concerns relative to some of the events that occur when the bars let out at night. Some nights we’re more successful than others. Obviously this video depicts a scenario where we were unsuccessful.”
Sheppard said police are working with nightclubs about their security protocols. Police have also contacted the State Liquor Authority in cases where they believe bars are responsible for violence in the area.
Sheppard did not address staffing or specific strategies to calm the late-night crowds. Police have a presence in the area from 11:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. But he wanted to assure the man who took the video the incident caught on camera is unacceptable.
“I understand his concern and his fear that he may have relative to where he lives and I want him to understand this is something we will use everything to our avail to address,” Sheppard said.
“It’s really just sad that this stuff happens and it continues to go on without somebody stepping in,” the resident said. “Maybe by people seeing this, something will happen. Something better will come of it.”Watch the Youtube Video.
(Warning it shows violence viewers may find disturbing to watch.)