More security on Washington Ave. after woman is grabbed by group of men

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by Jasmine Huda / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 18 at 1:55 PM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – St. Louis police say they have a new plan to address security after a woman walking on Washington Avenue says she was grabbed by a group of men.

Ashley Meagher, 26, said she was walking out of a bar near 14th and Washington late Saturday night when she was approached by a group of young men.

“Immediately as I was walking out of this bar I knew I was in a bad situation,” she said. “I got grabbed by someone, I got yelled by someone, by quite a few people.”

Meagher says she now believes the city needs to station more police in the area, especially on the weekends.

She, along with businesses in the area, hope that extra officers on Washington Avenue will make a difference.

Many business owners say that while they’ve seen some improvements over the past few months, there are some major problems, including cruising and loitering.

Several bars, such as the Dubliner, hire secondary security and say extra officers are needed.

“I think it will help,” said Dubliner employee Patrick Russell. “I think the problem is definitely being addressed. And it’s on the upside of being corrected.”

There’s anywhere from 10 to 15 officers that patrol Washington Avenue and the adjoining streets on weekends. But with increased traffic from baseball and football games and a near-perfect weather forecast this weekend, the detail will double.

Meager hopes the security plan works.

“This is a fun area. There’s a lot to do,” she said. “But I feel like it’s an area where if police don’t get it under control over the weekends, it could be easily taken over. Quickly.”

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