A couple was walking at 11:30 PM on a weeknight across the Purple People Bridge. A gunman tied up the guy, and forced the woman to walk the rest of the way across the bridge and withdraw money from an ATM. She was then raped and dropped off at Cincinnati Bible College.
In a perfect world taking a walk at night along the river would be a great way to spend and evening. But, let’s think this through … the bridge extends from downtown Cincinnati to Newport. On a Thursday at 11:30 PM it’s a pretty desolate place.
When the guy called 911 there was confusion about who was supposed to respond to the call, Cincinnati Police or Newport Police. Not a huge deal, both responded and dealt with the incident.
In the aftermath Newport Police Department, Cincinnati Police Department, Southbank Partners and the Cincinnati Recreation Commission met to discuss how to make the bridge safer.
Call boxes and cameras have been recommended as well as added lighting. Those items are both great ideas; however would they have helped the girl who was abducted? Probably not. The added lighting and more prevalent cameras may have discouraged the attacker, but those things do not prevent crime.
I am all for making any part of the city safer but some common sense is in desperate need. Let’s make the small changes on the bridge and move on to bigger problems.
We need to take responsibility for our actions. Walking in isolation at night even as a couple is not safe. How many girls need to be raped to make women aware of their surroundings? Risky behavior often ends in tragedy.
What is a far greater problem is when people are not engaged in risky behavior and they are attacked. Christmas is right around the corner. How many people are attacked in broad daylight in mall parking lots? That crime is more shocking and more difficult to prevent.