Deep Ellum group asks patrons to travel in groups after violent muggings

DALLAS -- Leaders and neighbors in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas are asking patrons to travel in groups after three violent robberies in one month. 

The first occurred on August 12, a Friday, when Hayley Evans was on her way home. 

"I was just getting off my shift at work at Monkey King Noodle Company," she said. "It was around 10:15 that night."

Evans began her walk through Deep Ellum to catch her train at the DART stop across from Baylor Medical Center. 

"There was a guy standing on the corner and he was like, 'Miss, miss? Excuse me, miss?'" she said. 

She thought the man was a panhandler. He wasn't and the suspect wasn't working alone. 

"I reached about this area ... when the next guy came out," she said. "When he did, he spun me around, he had hit me in the head with a gun, twice, on both sides."

She gave them her purse, but the men didn’t’ stop.

"One of them grabbed my arm to throw me to the ground as the other guy proceeded to stomp my head in," said Evans.

Evans' mugging was the first of three violent robberies to occur in a one-month period in Deep Ellum. The next, happened at about 1:30 a.m. on August 14, a Sunday, near Elm Street and Good-Latimer Expressway, where thieves punched a man in his head. Three weeks later, at about 9:30 p.m. at Crowdus and Indiana streets, a man pointed a gun in a woman’s face. In each assault, the thieves demanded purses and phones.  

"We’ve been really fortunate to have had a pretty quiet summer with all this," said Jessica Burnham with the Deep Ellum Foundation. "So it’s really sad to hear that all this is happened,"  

The foundation pays two off-duty police officers to be visible on the neighborhood's busiest blocks three nights a week until 3 a.m.

"They’re patrolling it on foot Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights," she said.

They’re being extra vigilant, and so is Evans, who says she'll never walk alone in the neighborhood she loves again. 

"I’m a little bit more scared about being out here past certain times now, and definitely not by myself," she said. 

If you have any information about these crimes, call Dallas police. 

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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