Problems at Cochran Park?
July 28, 2010
A reader emailed us with the following report today….
I visit Cochran Park (Bryn Mawr & Magnolia) with my 2 year-old son almost every weekday between 4 and 6 p.m. In the last month I and the other “regulars” at the park have noticed a disturbing new trend at the park. Almost every day there are young adults (teens and early 20s) hanging around inside the park (and they’re not accompanying children). On two days last week a group of 4-6 young men hung out on one of the benches for more than an hour. They were all wearing white t-shirts, black pants/shorts and White Sox caps (not sure if that means anything, but I noticed it). They were smoking and swearing the whole time. A few days ago I was there for just an hour, but during that time there was a teen couple making out on one bench, another teen girl sitting on a swing texting, a 20+ year old tuff looking guy sitting on a bench smoking, and three teen boys throwing fast balls at each other in the middle of the playlot. After nearly hitting me, my son and other children I had to ask the boys twice to stop throwing the ball and leave as they were too old to be in the park. Yesterday a group of five teen boys and two girls took over the park and played basketball right in the middle. Two dads went over and asked them to leave, then one tried to throw their ball out of the park. This was met with a shower of profanity and a “We own this park bitch!” They finally left when he got out his phone and called the cops. Today I noticed that someone burned “FAG” into the plastic turf under the swing-set.
As you can imagine, this new development is of great concern to all of the parents who frequent the park. Cochran has always been a safe, nice place for our kids to play, however it now appears to be a new hang-out for young adults, and possibly gang members. Because of all this activity many parents have stopped coming to Cochran Park. In addition, since a mom was mugged in front of the park on Winthrop and Berwyn a few weeks ago, that park is now off limits for a lot of the neighborhood parents. This leave us with few park options in our neighborhood.
I wrote to MAS’s office a few days ago, but haven’t heard back. I would encourage other parents to a. call the police when they see suspicious activity, and b. write to MAS’s office. Any other ideas about what can be done about this?