Five Points brawl victim hopes violence nearing end
Thu, 27 Sep 2012 10:05:00 GMT —
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - Josh Bosworth watched a news conference held by Columbia police chief Randy Scott this week very closely. Bosworth, 23, was involved in brutal fight over the weekend in Five Points, one of three incidents in the same night, that have local officials looking to enhance safety in the popular entertainment district.
"Gunfire and assaults. I mean, you just can't let it go unnoticed," said Bosworth. "I'm sure this isn't something that they can just snap their fingers and it's done."
Bosworth has become the face of a long-range commitment to safety improvements in Five Points after cell phone video of his Sunday morning fight set social media on fire. It also led to calls for drastic change in the area.
The man suffered a broken jaw and a gash on his forehead after he was involved in a brawl with several men. Some of them continued to kick him when he was already on the ground.
Bosworth hopes the call to action by police and local ofificials at that Tuesday news conference is more than lip service..
"I would like to believe that they are going to do something and it's not just talk. They wouldn't have their jobs if they were just talking," said Bosworth.
Police chief Randy Scott did most of the talking Tuesday afternoon about a violent weekend that included two assaults and gunshots in Five Points. The incidents were the latest in a violent trend in the area.
"This is extreme concern, where we have to act and we have to change the mindset that you can come to Five Points and victimize people. You will have that exact opposite," said Scott in almost hour-long news conference.
Local officials have suggested a mandatory 2 a.m. bar closing time, a focus on underage drinking, over-drinking, and a beefed- up police presence that will include 40 officers on the streets the weekend of the University of South Carolina's next home football game against Georgia. Authorities expect thousands to flock to Five Points after a day of drinking.
The Columbia police department has spent $90,000 in overtime pay in Five Points this year, and overall crime is down in that area when compared to the same time last year.
Still, a continuing trend of high-profile violence has many, including Bosworth, hoping the end is near.
"I want to give them the benefit of the doubt and trust in them to clean everything up," said Bosworth.