These are true stories from the streets of Huntington as seen through the eyes of Alligator Jackson......the good and the bad.  

An interview with homeless 

A reader visited Harmony House and interviewed some of the homeless  Here is his findings

"--- Date: 07/17/2019 Time: 16:30-18:30 Location: Alley behind the City Mission All names are redacted, and introductions were made via cigarettes. Overview: spoke with 11 individuals, 3 of which were in some form of recovery program, and two people has serious medical concerns. Common Themes: Family breakdowns, mental health issues, criminal history, drug use. 1.) Originally from Logan, WV. Has spent the past 8 years homeless in 3 different states. Drugs of choice are Meth, Heroin, and Marijuana. Active user, and has been kicked out of the Harmony House and City Mission, but continues to eat and shower at the City Mission. No long term recovery program. 2.) Originally from Logan, WV. 3.) Originally from Paris, TX. Homeless the past 3 years, active user, no long term recovery. 4.) Originally from Huntington, WV. 5.) Originally from Huntington, WV. 6.) Originally from Detroit, MI. Heavily tattooed, homeless the past 14 years, accepted a cigarette but continued to avoid questions. 7.) Originally from Logan, WV. Homeless the last 3 years. 8.) Originally from Huntington, WV. Active heroin user but is currently enrolled in a treatment program with Valley Health (Pro-Act). He does have COPD, and is currently staying at the City Mission in hopes of receiving housing in the near future. Stated that he did have an apartment a few years ago but lost it because he didn’t obey the rules, he had various addicts and homeless people staying with him. This man also knows all active 52 HIV patients and that they are part of his circle of friends. All HIV patients are active heroin addicts and that they all share needles. He said the real HIV number in the area is likely triple what is reported. When asked about the recent Herald Dispatch article regarding the reduction of homeless population (reported to be 118), this man said that’s a lie, and that before they send people to count the number of homeless, the police run people off beforehand so that the numbers appear lower. 9.) Originally from Huntington, WV. Only spoke to this man about his current medical condition. He had fell into a dumpster a few days prior and had a metal rod go through his ankle, lower leg, and is currently on crutches, but his ankle is bandaged. He states that he needs surgery to correct some nerve damage and to remove some metal fragments. 10 & 11.) Both men were walking together and had just had dinner at the City Mission. Both live together at the 5th Avenue Apartments (9th Street and 5th Avenue), both are in an addiction treatment program. One man is from Parkersburg and the other from Huntington. Signed: A Taxpayer

When the bubble burst: How the drug epidemic changed Huntington 

   

 

  Huntington, WV was always considered the perfect place to raise a family.  A college town that was simple but safe.  We lived in a bubble.  We were safe in that bubble. The seventies and eighties were an innocent time in our city.  Most of us that were raised here remember a time when it was safe to leave your doors unlocked. 

     The drug epidemic changed America.  It has changed small towns and big cities alike across our great country.  Huntington was ground zero for the drug epidemic.  It crept in a little at a time.  Crack cocaine was creeping into Huntington in the nineties from Detroit, a metropolis hundreds of miles away.  It was a mostly black drug confined to the Fairfield District of Huntington.  Most people avoided that area and just proclaimed it 'the bad part of town."

     But as the opioid epidemic began to emerge in Appalachia from Eastern Kentucky in the late nineties... the drug problem slowly took on a white tone and began to slowly spread across Huntington.

     Huntington was jolted into reality when four teens were shot and killed on prom night May 23, 2005.  It was the first time that many in Huntington were willing to admit there was a drug problem in our town.  Four teens were brutally murdered  Dante Ward, 19, of Huntington; Edrick Clark, 18, of South Point, Ohio; Michael Dillon, 17, of Huntington; and Megan Poston, 16, of Barboursville.  This was Huntington's first national association with the drug problem.
 

 

   It was in this time period of the early 2000's and around the time of the murders in 2005 that jail officials at West Regional Jail in Huntington began to realize a direct connection between crime and Detroit.  As more and more Detroit residents began to be lodged at the facility, the guards started noticing tatoos.  Some of the Detroit criminals had a letter on each knuckle that spelled Munnington.The term than spiraled into Moneyton...which meant that Huntington symbolizied money for Detroit drug dealers. 

     OxyContin began to flood into Huntington from pill mills all over Southern Ohio, Georgia, Florida, and Kentucky.  These pill mills exploded around 2008 and ran into around 2011 or 2012.  The pill mills around Ohio were very prominent in the Portsmouth, Ohio area.  Many patients were legitimately in pain and in need of medicine and treatment.  Others were addicted to painkillers but figured since they were being issued prescriptions that everything was ethical and legal.  As more and more people became addicted and some were overdosing and dying, the problem caught the attention of authorities.  Millions on painkillers were being shipped to small towns and people from all over were flocking to those towns for the painkillers.  

     Wayne Hunt of Huntington remembers:  "I was going to a clinic in Portsmouth.  I would pay $200 for the office call and then I would get a script for about 130 Oxy 30's.  At first, there was a pharmacy in Columbus that was filling those.  A few of us would ride up there together.  Then, they got raided and wouldn't fill them.  It was a surprise to us because we thought it was legal because the script was written by a doctor.  It got harder and harder each month to get them filled.  We would get them filled one month and then go back to that pharmacy the next month and they would not fill them. We would driv e for hours.  We would end up in places like Lancaster, Ohio or Beckley, WV.  It became an all day job to get them filled."

     Eventually, the pill mills of Southern Ohio were shut down.  Drug dealers then turned their attention to Florida and Georgia.  Some of the local, 'neighborhood' dealers would sponsor trips to Florida.  They would get people to 'doctor shop' the clinic down south.  The dealer would pay for the trip as they would load up a carload or vanload of people and pay for the gas, food, doctor, hotel, and other expenses.  In return the person visiting the doctor would get free pills.  The dealer would sell the rest and make money.  It appeared to be a win-win situation.  While the pipeline was running from West Virginia to Florida, drug dealers from Detroit were getting pills from the Detroit area where they were cheaper due to less demand and selling them for more money in Huntington and other Appalachian areas.  Some of the pills were bought in Canada where they were cheaper and smuggled across the border.  Sometimes, to make even more money...the Detroit dealers would buy guns in West Virginia where they were cheaper and easier to purchase and sell in Detroit where they sold for more money.

     After, the prescription drugs were harder to get as the Oxycontin pipeline got shut down, the demand for opioids was still very high.  This opened the door for Detroit drug dealers to fill the demand by supplying heroin for those withdrawing from withdraws.  Suddenly, there were soccer moms who had injuries from car wrecks who became dependent on painkillers who were cut off and began buying heroin from street dealers to treat their pain.  This created two major problems.  One was that heroin from each dealer was different.  No one knew exactly how much to take.  This caused overdoses because one shot from one dealer was different than a shot from another dealer.  Also, some dealers began to spike their product.  No one knew exactly what was in the heroin.  Fentanyl began to appear in the dope and the dope got deadlier and deadlier.

 

     More and more people began to overdose.  The dirty little secret that Huntington had kept for years could no longer be silenced.  Around 2013, the epidemic began to be public knowledge.  All major networks, HBO, ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, and others began to flock to Huntington, WV - the new "Heroin Capital" (as first titled by HBO's Vice documentary show,  Huntington was now officially ground zero of the new drug epidemic.

 

                                                                                              INNOCENCE LOST 

     When the bubble finally burst, innocence was the first thing lost.  Huntington residents were horrified by ambulances at McDonald's for overdoses in the bathroom or to see EMS crews at work on Walgreens' parking lot trying to bring someone back to life.  Suddenly, there were ambulances everywhere.  911 Facebook pages became popular as residents were shocked of the sheer numbers of overdoses that had seemingly engulfed their innocent little town overnight.  Pictures of users passed out on benches and falling around on city streets began to be circulated throughout the internet and awareness of the problem began to be evident.

     So, for many, perhaps the biggest change for Huntington due to the epidemic was the loss of innocence.  Huntington not only began to see an influx of overdoses and deaths that led to its' crowning as Heroin Capital but drug-related murders were on the rise as well.  Huntington was no longer the little innocent town where it was safe to walk down the street whenever a person wanted too.  Huntington news and newspaper was now talking about shootings and murders....once foreign topics to local news viewers.  The murders were no longer taking place in Detroit, Cleveland, Baltimore, or St. Louis...but in our own backyard as well.

     Out of fear...perhaps mostly unfounded fear.... people began to change their routines.  Some quit going out at night or quit shopping Downtown.  Innocence was forever gone.  We now had safety to worry about.

 

                                                                                                   ATTITUDE TOWARD CRIME

 

     As the drug epidemic impacted the area, social attitudes changed.  Addiction was considered and treated as a disease.  As the social  attitudes softened, so did the way crimes were looked at.  Property crimes have been on a steady increase since the start of the epidemic.  Many of the crimes are being committed by repeat offenders.  Many of the offenders are receiving treatment in rehabs or stays in sober living houses instead of in jail.  While this is helping save lives it also led to some habitual criminals taking advantage of the system.

                                                                                   

 

                                                                                         THE EFFECT ON CHILDREN

     

     The foster care system of West Virginia has been deeply impacted by the drug epidemic.  There are not nearly enough foster parents to help the children in need.  It has been estimated that 84% of the children in West Virginia foster care are there because they have at least one parent addicted to drugs.

     West Virginia has the fourth highest rate in the nation for grandparents raising grandchildren -- an arrangement often referred to as “grandfamilies”.  A reader sent this to me - "As a teacher for twenty years, I have seen an increase of students being raised by grandparents, aunts, uncles or older siblings. Not to mention the trauma they carry on their shoulders from seeing their parents on drugs, going to jail or unfortunately dead."

     West Virginia is amongst the leaders in babies being born addicted.  Although the newest numbers are from 2013, when the drug epidemic was just rising, the numbers are still astounding.  

     According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Virginia had the nation’s highest rate of babies born dependent on drugs at 33.4 per 1,000 births in 2013, compared with the national average of 5.8. 

      The rates in some counties were staggering. Lincoln County had the highest rate at 106.6 per 1,000 births last year, followed by Marshall County at 102.1. 

     Cabell County was not too far behind with 62.3 per 1,000. Wayne County had a rate of 55.3 per 1,000;

 

     The drug epidemic has had a definite impact on children in West Virginia.

 

 

                                                                                    "EVERYONE HAS LOST SOMEONE"

       Many lives have been lost.  No one has been unaffected by death due to the drug epidemic.  As Danny Beach stated, "Everybody has lost someone.  I have lost childhood friends, relatives, and co-workers."  

       Many bright individuals with bright futures have seen their lives snuffed out by the drug epidemic. In 2017,  West Virginia had a rate of 57 deaths per 100,000, due to overdoses. With overdose deaths increasing, funeral home directors are dealing with the epidemic unlike anyone else, finding themselves in the middle of the crisis. With such an increase, the state has had trouble keeping up with the deaths.

     As I write this, I have learned a patient we had just last week at the mental health hospital I work at had a relapse and overdosed and died last night.  I also received this from a Facebook friend today.  "----  fought a life of drugs off and on. But the Meth won this time.  He died on a vent, both lung and brain infection, his kidneys failed.   He had a lot of people who loved him. I write to you to ask for you not to forget the fight you do on drugs. I know he read your posts.  We talked about them. Just letting you know Drugs in Huntington took another Father, ,brother, cousin, ,best friend and friends to many others out there who knew him. Thanks for taking the time to read this, I. wanted you to know u lost a fan of yours to drugs.

 

                                                                                       HOMELESS IN HUNTINGTON 

 

     The number of homeless people living in shelters or on the streets in Cabell and Wayne counties decreased for the third straight year in 2019.  A count showed 171 people in the two counties as compared to 190 in 2018 and 205 in 2017.  Many people disagree with the numbers because there appears to be more homeless than ever in Downtown Huntington.  The increase of the homeless appears to be due to 1) drug users who have lost everything to drugs 20 drug users who actually left home in order to do drugs and choose to live on the streets 3) drug users who left other cities and came to Huntington for free needles and a city with a compassionate giving nature and availability of drugs 4) came from other cities to enter a drug rehab or sober living house and dropped out and have remained in Huntington living on the streets.  What we have in Huntington is an addiction problem disguised as a housing problem.  We have agencies like The Huntington City Mission and Harmony House that is helping the  homeless find homes.  Many of the addicted are set on spending their money on drugs and either living on the street or in abandoned houses.  When the cold weather comes, many go back to other cities where their families are.

                                                                                               SPREADING OF DISEASES

 

West Virginia health officials say the number of HIV cases in Cabell County has risen to 53.  The Herald-Dispatch reports the total increased by four cases in the past four weeks and nine cases in the past nine weeks. The cluster has spread primarily among intravenous drug users.  HIV and Hepatitis C have both been on the rise in Huntington since the start of the epidemic.  The Cabell County Health Department has tried to combat the spreading with its' controversial free needle exchange program

 

     

 

                                                                                             SOME POSITIVE ASPECTS

                                                                                             PEOPLE PULLING TOGETHER

      There has been some positive coming out of the drug epidemic as our city rallies together to recover.  Rob Doubleyou has seen some of the good.  Doubleyou is a recovering drug addict who is now helping spread recovery.  He now leads It's A Good Thing.  A Good Thing is a company with three recovery houses in Huntington.  He is giving recovering addicts a chance at sober living.  He also spreads the word through motivational speaking.  Doubleyou said, "Huntington West Virginia has become a place where helping and loving people is now cool. Seeing people in their 20's and 30's being more concerned with the well being of other is a thing of beauty."

     Aaron Given agrees, "The good change I can see is that the city had been decaying for years and many individuals are taking action to help change things.  Given adds, "The city leadership in Huntington acts as if it is in a bubble and as if the rest of the area does not exist.  We have to fight the drug problem with action and fight the negativity that is so prevalent with positivity."

     Here are some of the places in our area offering help with addiction

PROACT  - 304-696-8700

Prestera - 877-399-7776

River Park Hospital - 800-526-9111

Recovery Point 304- 523-4673

Her Place -304-525-7394

First Steps Wellness and Recovery Center  681-378-3791

It's A Good Thing -recovery house - 304-593-6900

The Life House - recovery house - 304-429-5433

Newness of Life - recovery house  304-972-6601

The Ark Inc.  Recovery House 681-945-7273

Huntington Comprehensive Treatment Center 304- 932-0106

 

                                                                                         ABANDONED HOUSES COMING DOWN

 

     Another positive aspect has been all of the attention cast on to the abandoned house problem has evolved into many of the building's being torn down.  The epidemic created a lot of homeless addicts who moved onto abandoned houses.  The problems created by this had led to the solution of knocking down the abandoned structures.  The action of demolishing dilapidated structures has resulted in a fresher look for Huntington.

 

 

                                                                                                     CONCLUSION

 

     The drug epidemic has brought death and destruction to our area.  While lives have been lost and shattered, many people are trying to crawl out from under the rubble and put Huntington back together.  It is a problem being faced by most cities and towns across our country, but Huntington, once labelled 'The Heroin Capital' is leading the way to recovery.  Only time will tell if Huntington can prevail in the battle.

 

 

There is recovery in Huntington 

I am so proud of Bre. I dated her mom before she was born and on and off afterward. My mom and dad fell in love with Bre when she was born. With her Dora the Explorer like looks as a kid, she was truly something special. She was at our house often and my parents helped her everyway they could. My dad passed when she was around 6 and she spent a lot of time with my mom. My mom passed when she was 15 and her mom and her moved in with me. I was on the road alot and knew nothing about being a parent. I became an enabler. She moved to Kentucky for a while and came back and got with a man who also drug issues. She got into it bad. Then, she got picked up truing to pawn something stolen although she was led to believe it was not stolen. 
Thanks to her lawyer she got into recovery. She has put on 40 pounds. She is doing so well. She was on the 60 Minutes segment on Huntington. I am so proud of her 
She has been knocked down by life a few times but she gets back up. I believe she will help others. It is this spirit that I am seeing all over Huntington and it is making Huntington stronger.

Breanna Dement 

July 9 at 11:38 PM · 

OMG 

My name is Breanna and I am a grateful recovering addict. My sobriety date is January the 9th of 2019 & just for today I'd like to make a deep and personal commitment to remain clean and sober! #6months #thisiswhatrecoverylookslike

Predator disguised as recovery guru 

A predator is a predator in my book.  No matter where you go or what you do, you can never afford to lower your guard.  There is a snake out of Indiana who has been targeting Huntington area addicts to gain sexual favors.  Yep, the lowest of the low is someone disguised as a person willing to help you, then when he gets your trust....BAM!  Out comes his real motives.  Be careful...even if they act like they are trying to help....it may not be the case.  Some of these 'recovery gurus' are becoming celebrities in the recovery world.  They have thousands of followers and are making solid cash and some are flaunting their money with nice cars, jewelry, ect.  The sickening thing is many of the recovery leaders have come to this guy's side and have acted like he has not done anything wrong when all of the evidence is here.  It really makes me wonder about some of them.  Loyalty is one thing but trying to act like nothing was done when there is plenty of evidence...kind of makes it sound like blame the victim.

Here the Facebook post that got this guy caught.  It has not been confirmed but it has been reported that he was fired by the rehab place he worked for:

 

"This is NOT something I would normally do, as a matter of fact, I do not believe I have ever posted anything like this. It has weighed heavy on my conscience and after much thought I believe it is something I need to do. Especially considering that this person is preying on people from my neck of the woods in Indiana. It is my advise to stay clear of this person and do not engage in his predatory behavior. I certainly would not put anyone in his hands for help or direction. 

This behavior is unacceptable and is not right in any way, shape or form. Taking advantage of young women who are in an extremely vulnerable position in order to obtain gratification for your own needs whether it be sexual, emotional, financial gain or to stroke your ego, it is WRONG! so many have spoken out about this person, Dru Hicks. He is supposed to be in a leadership position in the recovery community and to be helping others. using and lying to these women for sex and getting them to promote him is NOT helping others. 

Just because someone gets clean, this does not mean that their addictive behaviors have changed. This would be a classic example of just that. 

There was a video posted by a young girl who also called him out on all of this. While she cried and told her story of what he did to her, there were numerous “leaders” of the recovery community poking fun of her and making vile comments to her. It was truly sickening and sad. I am only posting a few of the screen shots of inappropriate conversations he has had with various women. There are way more than this! Other advocates are also speaking out about this. 

For those of you who are angry for me posting warning to my people and all of the people in my hometown area, feel free to hit that unfriend button. Trust me, I wont lose any sleep. And in true fashion of those who want to slap a law suit on me for speaking out… private message me, ill gladly give you the mailing address to send me the paperwork. I have a used walker and wheel chair y’all might win in the case IF you win. 

The recovery center that he works for is well aware of this behavior. Sadly, many in Indiana have no idea what he has been doing and what he is all about. Including judicial and political entities, churches and worse yet, schools. There are many on my pages, in my groups and on my friends lists who will hopefully see this and cease their interactions with this dangerous individual. He is a FRAUD! 

I cannot in good conscience overlook this and not post a warning to those out there who are desperately seeking help. There are many good people out there helping others and doing things the right way in the name of service. Nothing this guy is doing is that. unless you have a healthy PPO insurance plan, good luck! 

Sorry if some of the screen shots are not in order, you'll still get the gist of it."

 

 

Catherine Bettencourt  

"Several people have sent me a live video made by Dru Hicks in response to (I assume) my post and others’ regarding the behavior that has come to light. I carefully listened to it and I have a response. I do not just attack people or bring things out in the open unless I am sure of what I am saying. I do not just make accusations without any solidity to the situation. I did not mention prior that one of the people victimized by these actions is a blood relative and another a friend. Both of these people went to him for help and when they refused to engage in his advances they were ignored and then shortly after, blocked. The conversation that I am posting with this post is not from one of them, but from yet another young lady reaching out for help for her husband, which quickly turned into something other than that. Take note of the last comment made to her. it is the whole conversation. You cannot claim how texts are manipulated and then claim to have the “real” convo and expect everyone to believe that either especially when there is proof otherwise. If only 1 or 2 were saying these things, I could say well… perhaps there is more to it. But there are at least 25-30 that have reached out regarding the exact same behavior. That makes it a little more difficult to ignore. 

Regarding the video, I personally heard an apology for other’s actions but not one for his. He claimed he is owning his part, but what part is that? what I heard was he was the one who was preyed upon, they all came to him, what was he supposed to do? When we are in a leadership position (which we choose to be in) we are held to higher standards and we are to be responsible and accountable for our every action. In our recovery if someone asks us to use, is it ok for us to use because they offered it? Absolutely not! The right response IF they offered their “services” would have been to say no and keep it professional. Especially knowing that these people are in extreme vulnerable states of mind, acting out in desperation and loneliness. They could be trying to validate some sort of acceptance, love and value. He only spoke about how all of the effected him and/or his family. How about others involved? He spoke of others trying to bring him down to make themselves look better. I personally have no dog in the fight. I do not work in the field at this time anymore, this is not a competition for me. But as a human being, I feel the right thing to do is to potentially protect or prevent someone else from being hurt. 

I personally have not sent anything to his family or children nor would I. I do not go there, I do not think anyone should involve someone else’s children. I cannot speak for others who may or may not have done this. 

The attorney thing does not bother me, I have been on both sides of the tables before. I have spoken on facts presented to me which is my legal and God given right. If others do not agree with what I have to say it is also their legal and God given right to ignore it. 

I appreciate the fact that he says he still loves those speaking out against him. I love him too believe that or not. I love everyone as most know regardless. I do not hold anyone’s, including him, past against them. I believe that what we did in our past is just that, our past. However, if we are going to present to the world that we are remorseful for our past actions and have changed, then so be it… make sure that our actions have changed. I do not attack someone based on their past, their looks, religion, etc. I do however base my opinions on others by their actions. 

Saying things are consensual. Many of these women consented to engaging in activities based off lies told to them and promises made. Many of them agreed to engage in order to obtain what they needed which is help. So it is all their fault because they initiated it? Smh… Let’s not bring God into this. God does not condone this behavior just because they initiated something! 

Definition of a Predator or predatory behavior: seeking to exploit or oppress others: inclined or intended to injure or exploit others for personal gain or profit."

Car thefts, bike thefts, and squatters....oh my 

Well....a couple of nights ago a co-worker got her car stolen right in front on our street. Last night a co-worker's car was broken into on our parking lot. Now, another co-worker's bike was stolen off of his front porch.

 

I don't want to be negative. So I'll leave you with some lyrics from The Beatles ] "I've got to admit it's getting better (Better) It's a little better all the time (It can't get no worse I do believe it's getting so much better"

 

From Jay Miser

 

"This is a picture of the bike that was stolen from my front porch last night. It's a 24 inch mountain bike with a 49cc motor on it. Reward if returned to me."

Also, there is a guy and a girl going around and squatting in vacant apartments.  They have been ran out and even caught once by HPD but HPD let them go.  Yesterday, the male was sleeping on the sidewalk outside my apartment at 6am.

 

Does Melania Trump's visit validate the Health Department? 

First Lady Melania Trump is making her second trip to Huntington today to visit the city once called 'The Heroin Capital'.  Her first trip centered around Lily's Place, a place that treats babies born addicted to drugs.  She will meet with the mother of a baby born addicted and others caught up in the epidemic, but today the meetings will be down the street at The Cabell County Health Department will she will first sit in on a roundtable discussion on the opiod epidemic.

 

The Cabell Huntington Health Department has come under fire locally lTely because of the free needle exchange.  It is likely that Trump will be bombarded with statistics and stories praising the exchange.  She will be told how the exchange partners a relationship with drug users that may eventually lead the user into treatment.  She will be shown stats that show there are HIV clusters in our city and how it could spiral out of control without the needles.  She will be told how users scour the streets searching for needles to trade for new ones.  She will see the positive side to the exchange.  She will also hear how the health department giving out free narcan has saved dozens if not hundreds or thousands of lives.

 

The intention is for her to report to her husband and other top republicans on how the health department is blazing the path to recovery.  It will display how the caital of overdoses is becoming the capital of recovery.  It will make the health department the cutting edge model for other cities.  It will also get more support and funding to continue the programs.

 

But, will be enough to satisfy the local right.  It is the local right that is bitterly rejecting the free needle exchange.  They are the ones leading the fight to remove the program.  What will the local Republican leaders think when The First Lady leaves convinced lives are being saved?  Will their voices become louder against the health department or will they accept the validation of Mrs. Trump?  I know Melania's visit will gain national praise and support for the health department...but will it garner local support?.....not likely...Huntington has always sought a Bogey Man...and the health department is it for now.

 

Releasing repeat offenders because 'the jail bill' is too high? 

 

7/12  Released again.  Nobody ever posts money...he just gets out

UPDATE:  He was arrested again on 7/5/19.  He was out on bond and arrested again for two misdemeanors.  He has a bail of $7,500.  How can he have a bond when he is out on bond?  This is why  we have so many repeat offenders.  No deterrent.

Many repeat offenders are finding that the revolving door is moving even faster.  A HPD officer has speculated this is 'because the jail bill is too high.'   The high cost of housing prisoners and overcrowded jails are leading to offenders getting out earlier than ever by plea bargaining and trading information.  These criminals are finding that there is not a deterent to crime and are going back to stealing and doing drugs as soon as they hit the streets.

 

So...a habitual criminal with literally dozens of arrests in Huntington and Ohio is at it again.  Less than two weeks ago, he was picked up and charged with several offenses.  Two days ago, he signed a signature bond and was released without posting bond.  

 

The charges were warrant service execution, transferring or receving stolen property misdemeanor, B &E auto, grand larceny, and possession of a controlled substance.  The warrant execution stems from an arrest earlier this year.  He was charged with breaking and entering.  The prosecution first offered a year in jail but were willing to offer him 28 days in rehab.  It was agreed he would go to Prestera.  He never showed up.

 

Chances are he has traded info but this is why we have repeat offenders.  No punishment.  Word is he is one of the guys that has been breaking into cars downtown and in houses.  He was tracked back to pawn shops where he pawned several stolen items.  So even if he gets The HPD a drug bust...who stops him? Likely, his charges will be traded for probation.  Probation for a guy with dozens of arrests.  Meanwhile, he is out on the prowl tonight most likely.  And these guys getting bailed out, aren't even getting drug tested on their next trip to court.

From June 21

From 7/5

 

Bad guys preying on the addicted. Does it matter? 

"When I told him I wouldn't suck his dick, he grabbed me by the back of my hair and slung me to the ground.  He wailed on my head and kicked me in the back.  The two other people in the abandoned apartment behind DP Dough did nothing to stop it.  He quit and left but then jumped back in through the broken window and said he was going to kill me.  The female witness then told him to stop and he left." The victim cried and then continued, "I didn't call the police because they would have said I shouldn't have been doing dope at 4am in an abandoned building.

 

Somebody's daughter was not as lucky.  She was found in Trenton Place in a closet.  An eye witness said her neck was stretched, the offical cause of death was an overdose.  The word buzzing through the alleys was a 'hot shot'...a dealer's revenge.  

 

Coincedently, one of the people closeby when the body was found and interviewed by police, was a man who watched the first girl get slapped around and did nothing.  He has also been rumored to be lurking in the shadows of drug houses around 6th Avenue and 4th Street jumping unsuspecting addicts as they leave buildings with newly purchased drugs.  

 

The man was a Detroit drug dealer who became hooked on his own product and 'fired.'  He now squats all over Downtown Huntington preying on the weaker.

 

Multiple addicts have been beaten, robbed, and raped.  They are the perfect victims.  They will receive lectures not justice.  Disease or choice...it doesn't matter, they are easy prey...it doesn't hurt the crime stats either because crimes against the addicted often go unreported.  After all, the shouldn't be addicts....right?  Not only are they addicts...but these victims are another part of Huntington's dirty little secret...crime victims who don't deserve justice....or do they?

Welcome back to the streets of Huntington (the story of no rehabilitation) 

"I know I'm not going to make it long out on the streets.  I'm better off in jail.  I can work out.  I get three meals."

A self-fulfilling prophecy?  Self -realization?  An excuse to fuck up? His love of girls makes him walk out the prison or jail doors.  The revolving door opens as soon as it closes. 

Only The HPD knows him as well as The West Regional guards. Four years ago the cops beat him on his arrest in Four and a Half Alley after he stole a cop's badge and wallet out of the officer's personal vehicle.  The last arrest ended with a taser blast and a visit from a K9 cop after he wrecked a stolen car after a low speed pursuit.

The cops do not want him on the streets.  The residents of Huntington do not want him on the streets.  He is not even sure he should be on the streets.  Only the judge, prosecuters, and lawyers seem to agree that he belongs on the streets.

His family fears a deadly relapse...maybe the next arrest ends even grittier.  No job.  No skills.  No diploma.  Almost a dozen felonies. His last bail out ended in cuffs. 

No drug test at his court dates.  Will he even show in court again without cops scouring Downtown for days?  The door opens leading out of West Regional.  No rehab.  No sober-living house.  No true game plan.  The mission and a court date.  Welcome back.  See you in court...maybe?