Columbia, SC — For five or so years, the problem in Five Points has been growing. Loiterers, people who aren’t attending the establishments in Five Points, have been congregating in the area and causing trouble: starting fights, assaulting patrons, etc.
Faced with this problem, the city of Columbia decided to pretend it was not happening. A few years ago a teenager was beaten within inches of his life by a group of people in Five Points. They did not even know the victim. They were not out visiting the establishments. They were only out looking for trouble. The only reason the assailants were caught was that the local businesses had set up security cameras with money out of their own pockets due to escalating crime.
After that incident, the city had an opportunity to tackle the problem head on but instead did little to stop it. It didn’t take a genius to see that something even worse was going to happen if no action was taken, and sadly, that is what happened.