Thu, 18 Aug 2011 15:32:36 GMT — COLUMBIA (WACH) " City of Columbia police are investigating another bloody beating in the Five Points area. According to the incident report, the alleged victim invited two men and a woman he met at a Five Points bar to his apartment early Sunday morning "to finish off the evening getting acquainted with each other." The alleged victim told police before the group went into his apartment a fight occurred in the hallway around 6:30 a.m. after a friend of his grabbed the woman's butt. One of the men told the alleged victim that would cost he and his friend, who gave the woman a "friendly touch" $30. When the alleged victim did not give him any money, the man attempted to take the victim TMs car keys from his pocket and then started to beat his head and face with a glass bottle. The alleged victim told police he eventually managed to escape. Surveillance cameras showed the suspects chasing the alleged victim near the Five Points fountain. One witness reported seeing the suspects use the fountain to wash the victim TMs blood off their hands and bodies. Read more New law enforcement squad on patrol Columbia committee recommends more cameras for hospitality areas Columbia considers permanent Five Points curfew Five Points beating brings debate over curfew Columbia curfew proposal faces opposition The alleged victim received medical treatment at Palmetto Richland Hospital following the attack.Police have not released the identities of the alleged victim or suspects. This is the second high profile beating in Five Points in recent months. In June police say 18 year-old Carter Strange was attacked by several teens in a parking lot in the 1900 block of Blossom Street. Seven teens have been charged in that beating. Since then the city has enacted a temporary curfew for Five Points. City Council has now proposed making that curfew permanent. Council members are also considering expanding the curfew to the Vista and Harbison areas. Right now, if you are 16 and younger, you can't be in Five Points from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Business owners and operators are on board with making the curfew permanent. We're all very aware of what happened as far as why this curfew's in effect and we're probably all unanimously support it; it's not going to hurt anybody, said David Abreu, supervisor of the Tutti Frutti yogurt shop in Five Points.
Columbia City Council will be holding a public hearing on the proposed adoption of a permanent curfew. You can read the entire curfew proposal here.
That hearing will be held on August 23 at 7 p.m. on the 3rd floor of City Hall.
In addition, the City of Columbia's Public City Safety Committee is moving fast in an effort to add more surveillance cameras to certain areas of the city. The committee recommended Tuesday spending $100,000 in surplus and hospitality funds to place 25 more cameras in Five Points, the Vista, and the Harbison areas. The money would also go toward a system that would connect the cameras to a 24-hour monitoring station. There are already at least 75 security cameras in Five Points which are operated by businesses. Some of those cameras have been donated by a private security firm. The Five Points Association says the city should pay for the additional cameras because police frequently use the footage to solve crimes. Privacy rights supporters say there are already too many cameras in the area. They also wonder if the public will have access to the footage if the cameras are funded by taxpayers. "If the cameras are owned and operated by the government, then there is a restriction on what the government can do to collect information," explains USC Media Law Professor Jay Bender. "But generally what you do in public is open for inspection by anyone." Investigators have used the surveillance video to link the suspects to a larceny that occured in Five Points the day of the attack. A spokesperson for the Columbia Police Department says officers have tried to contact the alleged victim to no avail. They need him to come forward and identify the suspects involved in his case.
If you have any information about this incident, call CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Do you think more cameras are the answer to crack down on crime, or do you believe this is an invasion of privacy? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.