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South Bend Police deal with a rash of fights, disturbances at Howard Park

(Photo supplied)

At least three fights and two disturbances were reported during Spring Break week at Howard Park in South Bend.

Police were called to intervene in the separate instances. Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski says the fights may not seem like much, but they can escalate into more serious situations.

The issues at Howard Park were one of several topics discussed during the police department’s news conference on Thursday, April 13. During the news conference, Ruszkowski played video clips of some of the fights that were caught by security cameras.

Ruszkowski says officers are conducting periodic foot patrols, they also have a downtown patrol that will go there, on assignment and there’s an additional downtown patrol that’s funded outside of the police department that makes passes through the park.

Ruskowski also pleaded with parents to get “in their kids’ business” and emphasized that parents and guardians need to do their job with their children and that police officers are not babysitters.

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9 comments

Lorenzo Davis April 15, 2023 at 8:04 am

The police should have been doing random foot patrols, especially since a lot of people frequent the park on a regular basis…also, after a certain time, kids shouldn’t be allowed to be at the park without adult supervision!

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Charles U Farley April 15, 2023 at 12:59 pm

What’s the common thread with all of these “disturbances”? Until we can say it, we cannot begin to correct it.

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Michelle Rink April 16, 2023 at 1:32 pm

Why is it that every time we get a new venue that provides good clean fun that little kids, families, AND high schoolers enjoy, the bad element has to infiltrate it? Where or what can wholesome 14-18 year old kids do these days where there won’t be some kind of disturbance or police action or alcohol and drugs ruining it and making it dangerous? My 15-year-old son and lots of friends loved going skating at Howard Park on Friday nights this past winter. Now if this continues that will be just another place we have to forbid (and he would agree with our decision too)!

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Steve April 16, 2023 at 10:04 pm

As long as you keep electing Democrats don’t expect things to get better. They most certainly will get worse.

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Joe April 17, 2023 at 8:31 am

My wife and I used to enjoy going to that park as well as going to the rowing boat house I believe its call “Joe Kernen” park. BUT NO MORE! The trouble lurking in the shadows and the reports of the trouble is enough for us to stay away. A shame after all the tax money we all paid and not cant use it or don’t feel safe to use it. How about all the business that opened in the that area what are they to do?

P.S. Charles Farley, I agree with what your saying 100%.

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Joe April 17, 2023 at 9:58 am

I’m not sure when we will accept the fact that there is a deeper problem than a “gun, drug, or crime” issue going on. There is a people problem. There has been a change in the mindset of people. People have lost respect for each other and authority. Also, dumbing down the system and the requirements of our teachers and first responders, etc., is playing into this. Look at the school system; it’s a mess. Most teachers are not qualified to teach or mentor children. They are only teachers because there was some government program that allowed them to meet the minimum requirements to teach. The requirements need to be raised, the authority restored, and the pay increased. Increasing pay and requirements will flush out the substandard. This didn’t happen over night and can’t be fixed over night; it will take generations. And yes, there will be collateral damage along the way. If it got like this in the past 40 or so years and we stay on this path, what will things be like in another 40 years? More laws won’t fix things. The mindset of people needs to be changed through better education and respect for authority and ourselves.

just my thoughts.

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Charles U Farley April 18, 2023 at 7:28 pm

You will NEVER fix education until you abolish the welfare state. When mom, grandma, great grandma, and great great grandma all live in the same house and all the income comes from welfare checks, that’s how those kids think you should live. That is normal.

If that’s the case, why should any effort be put into an education? Just grow up (a little), have kids, and get that sugar daddy check from Uncle Sam.

And that’s what is happening, generationally.

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Adam April 18, 2023 at 3:12 am

I would recommend going to Potato Creek State Park. We also have great parks in St. Joseph and Elkhart counties that are a lot safer. They have canoeing and kayaking as well. Check out their websites. Be safe and enjoy the great Michiana area outdoors. 😀

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joe April 18, 2023 at 12:13 pm

Agree, Beautiful park been there many times. But still one shouldn’t have to travel 10 miles to enjoy a park when we have some right here in the city but cant or are afraid to use what we paid for because of the ones that make it not safe. I was past Howard Park last weekend and was shocked to see all the thugs hanging around in there parked cars yelling and cussing at each other from across the street to each other and of course hoodie covering their faces and lurking in the shadows. Ya, I want to hear that and feel real safe sitting by the fire.

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