CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Business owners in NoDa voiced their safety concerns after shots were fired on two separate occasions in the past week. Thursday, they met with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers to work on solutions.
The first incident was last Saturday. Police made an arrest after they were called out to North Davidson Street where a fight broke out.
“Apparently there was some altercation between a member of the public and a street vendor and it led to shots being fired,” David Ladish, the director of operations at JackBeagles said.
Then early Tuesday morning, a man was arrested for shooting a CMPD officer in the leg. Toddrick McFadden faced a judge on Thursday. He’s being held on a $270,000 bond for one count of attempted murder.
The police officer will be okay.
Crime mapping shows there were 128 incidents reported in NoDa in the last month. Business owners said it is unusual for the area, and they’re afraid if something isn’t done to address the problem, it will only get worse.
“So fortunate that nobody was seriously injured, so fortunate that we can learn from this and move forward,” Joe Kuhlmann, owner of The Evening Muse, said.
They’re hoping to move forward with solutions. Business owners want there to be a greater police presence in the busy area.
“With police officers walking up and down the street, not 24 hours a day but Friday evening, Saturday evening, 8 to 12, it’d make a big difference,” Ladish said. He added that they’ve been told CMPD doesn’t have enough officers to do that.
For now, they’re taking matters into their own hands.
“One of the things we discussed as a group of NoDa business owners was putting together a fund and hiring off-duty CMPD officers to walk to the beat,” Ladish said.
Ladish, Kuhlmann and several other NoDa business owners met with CMPD. The meeting was not open to the public or the media.
Ladish said the focus was on street vendors setting up shop in loading zones or on the sidewalks. He said it’s a nuisance but based on last weekend, can clearly also pose a safety threat.
“As people walk out of the bar there’s soliciting, wanting them to buy something donate money,” Ladish said. “People come here to eat drink have fun listen to music they’re not here to be harassed.”
Business owners can call police when it becomes an issue, but it’s now on them to try and get this district added to the ordinance.
“I recognize and respect the hustle that’s going on with some of the street vendors but that issue it comes and goes,” Kuhlmann said. “It’s one of those things that we have to find a way to coexist but we just need boundaries and having them enforced.”
The shooting at the Blind Pig was not tied to a street vendor. For now, most businesses say they’re just staying alert and aware and not changing any of their security practices.