County legislator and others threatened while picking up dirty needles on North Clinton Avenue. News10NBC was there
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Some scary moments Friday morning for Monroe County Legislator Mercedes Vazquez Simmons as she, and a group of people, were cleaning up dirty needles along North Clinton Avenue.
News10NBC’s Patrick Moussignac was there when it happened. “We were certainly not wanted on North Clinton Avenue this morning where Monroe County Legislator Mercedez Vazquez Simmons, and State Assemblyman Demond Meeks joined others to clean up a spot littered with drug paraphernalia.”
“Apparently we have disrupted business, and he was very angry,” said Vazquez Simmons.
She was out there Friday morning with a group to clean up discarded needles in an area known for drug use, in a neighborhood challenged by crime. News10NBC was with her to learn more about those efforts, when a man became agitated by our presence.
“I was assaulted with a water bottle, and our lives were all threatened,” said Vazquez Simmons. She continued, “a man said he was going to blow our heads off for being in that area.”
The man threw a full water bottle at her, which hit the pole grabber tool she was using to pick up the used needles off the ground.
“We had your TV cameras. We had you, we had two elected officials there, and it didn’t matter to them. They’re still gonna make the threats, and they’re going to let it be known that we’re on notice,” said Vazquez Simmons.
She also said after leaving the parking lot, the same man returned.
“Right now we secured a police report. We are in the process of obtaining the video from the stores because we were between the two stores there, and there’s footage of it, and there’s also witnesses. The store manager was out there, and she couldn’t believe it,” said Vazquez Simmons.
News10NBC talked to both Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President, and CEO Bob Duffy, and Governor Kathy Hochul about curbing violence.
Duffy said, “Legislature has to act. I think both the Assembly, and the Senate have to come in, and I would say to the Legislature don’t dig in, and say everything is perfect. Nobody is saying everything is wrong, but to me, from a good policy, take and keep what is working, but if something is not working have the courage to fix it.”
Hochul said the state is offering support.
“What does that support look like? First of all it’s putting more boots on the ground letting them know that we have our state police resources to help them with the patrolling. This is one of the areas where we can be helpful, and we’ll do more if requested,” said Hochul.
No one was injured in Friday’s incident. Meanwhile police have increased patrols along North Clinton Avenue after a three-year-old was shot last week.