Police confront man armed with bat during interview about downto - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Police confront man armed with bat during interview about downtown 'problem spot'

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Crime is becoming a growing concern in parts of downtown Spokane-- and police are getting all to familiar with it. The worse it gets, the fewer people want to spend time there-- which only creates a vicious cycle.

Tonight while while we were in the downtown neighborhood, we saw firsthand what businesses and police are worried about and say they see every day.

"I think most areas are overall safe," Officer John O'Brien with the Spokane Police Department told KHQ. "Some areas, more than others, can be approved upon to make it even better."

Suddenly in the middle of our interview…

"I'll be back, Patrick," Officer O'Brien said as he raced across the street.     

We experienced exactly what businesses say they're dealing with in this area.

"We have a disorderly down here at House of Charity with a baseball bat, swinging at people," Officer O'Brien radioed in.     

Just outside the House of Charity, a man was spotted attacking another man, in full view of security and police.

"Police! Drop the bat! Do it now-- drop the bat! Drop it and get on the ground," Officer O'Brien yelled at the man with the bat.     

Luckily officers were able to respond quickly, and the man was okay.

"That was a prime example of where there was some friction that spilled outside and somebody tried to assault someone with what is considered a deadly weapon," Officer O'Brien said.   

Looking at crime maps, you can see the area is a hot spot here for downtown Spokane.  

"There happens to be a shelter here which brings a lot of people so there's a lot of activity going on on the sidewalks and these buildings," said Officer O'Brien.

And the almost daily calls, police say are a strain on resources. To deal with it, SPD and their downtown precinct have neighborhood resource officers dedicated to this specific spot.

"It's to work with any business to try and make it better for them and the rest of the neighborhood."   

But they say the need help from businesses being their eyes and ears when they aren't there.

"I would encourage them to be patient, call in and report anything they see to us, contact the neighborhood resource officers in the downtown precinct and work with us so we can work together to solve to problems that are going on."

Police say the best way to combat these issues is be reporting them. and to keep reporting them so they know where and when they need to respond.

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