February 10, 2014

Residents seek increased police presence following last month’s shooting death in Myrtle Beach

Whenever there’s a serious crime event in a neighborhood, residents often turn to police for help, Myrtle Beach police officials said.

Whenever there’s a serious crime event in a neighborhood, residents often turn to police for help, Myrtle Beach police officials said.

After the fatal shooting of 46-year-old Michael Rogers on 37th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach on Jan. 27, residents of a nearby development have asked if police could be more visible in that area.

Antwuan Nelson is charged with murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and manufacturing or distribution of cocaine base in connection with Rogers’ death.

Residents of Broadway Station, a community that sits in an unincorporated part of the county that’s completely surrounded by the city of Myrtle Beach, said they’ve seen criminal activity increase on 37th Avenue North over the years – and that road dead ends into their property.

“What I would like to ask for – you have cruisers up and down Oak Street all day, all night,” said Broadway Station resident Dean Todd during a City Council workshop Feb. 4. “If you have cruisers that are on Oak Street that are not answering a call, can you have them just swing through there. It would increase presence.”

Broadway Station resident Michelle Cantey told City Council members that a bullet from the shooting came through her wall and lodged in her end table next to her sofa.

“It was mere inches from hitting me,” she said. “I’m in knots still. So to this day I still look out the window now to see if I can go to my car. … The night that this happened I actually slept in the hallway to avoid any exterior walls.”

Todd said he recognized that Broadway Station falls outside of Myrtle Beach’s jurisdiction, but said he hoped the city would be able to have more police seen in the areas of the city that surround the condominium development.

Myrtle Beach police spokesman Capt. David Knipes said it’s natural for residents to turn to police when serious crime happens in their neighborhood.

“Certainly an incident like that is going to shock a neighborhood,” he said. “It’s a common reaction.”

He said sometimes residents will see criminal activity in their neighborhood but won’t call police until something serious happens.

“And then they say, ‘this has been happening for years,’ ” he said.

Knipes encouraged area residents to come together as a neighborhood and work with public safety and code enforcement to address any and all illegal activity that’s observed.

Officer Pete Woods, who runs the city’s 25 neighborhood watch groups, said he was contacted before the shooting happened by people along Oak Street to form a neighborhood watch program.

“That neighborhood had one meeting about three years ago, but they never met again,” he said. “That neighborhood, unfortunately, now is going to get on board. … I’m hoping that 60 people show up at that meeting and we take back that neighborhood.”

A meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Good Shepherd Orthodox Anglican Church, 700 35th Ave. N., Myrtle Beach, Woods said.

Knipes said the police department will listen to the Broadway Station residents’ concerns and do what they can, while staying within their jurisdiction.

“If there’s an issue they have that’s coming from the city, we are going to address it,” he said.

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