Public Inebriates Takeover Midtown Park for Heavy Drinking
Police have received at least 100 calls from Anchorage residents about problems in the Cuddy Family Midtown Park in the last six months.
The Cuddy Family Midtown Park is a gem in the middle of Anchorage.
Located behind the Loussac Library the park attracts plenty of families and nearby office workers on a sunny day. But lately it has also been attracting something else: trouble in the form of public inebriates.
Anchorage Police Lt. Dave Parker says in the last six months that APD has received at least 100 calls from residents, mostly about people drinking in the park.
Teresa McPherson is a frequent park user who has witnessed the trouble first hand.
“I have seen people engaging in heavy alcohol use,” says McPherson. “ I've seen fist fights break out near the trail. My husband’s coworker even saw an attempted rape.”
And just last month a visiting Girl Scout troop spotted a naked woman who’d stripped off her clothes to take a dip in the duck pond. Police responded and wrestled her out.
Unfortunately, the trouble isn’t just in the park. In the small stretch of woods that surround the park are the remains of a homeless camp that looks like it’s been recently occupied.
But despite the trouble, police say the park is safe and that citizens shouldn’t fear going there. Lt. Parker encourages people to call if they see a problem at the park or something that makes them uncomfortable. He says the worst thing people could do is stop visiting altogether.
“People need to use the parks. There's nothing like good folks out there with their families using the parks,” says Parker. “That’s what they’re intended for.”