SACRAMENTO, CA - A Sacramento cab driver said his damaged taxi is proof that crowds are getting out of control in the Lavender Heights neighborhood in Sacramento's midtown.
Mohsan Iqbal said he parked at 20th and K streets waiting to take patrons home about 2 a.m. Saturday. He said five bar patrons left a popular nightclub after it closed and walked over to his cab. He said at least one of them danced on top of his cab and smashed in a window, before they all took off.
"They just walk over here. They try to dance and they get on top of the car," Iqbal explained. "They just break the whole windshield. Because they're drinking, I can't stop them."
Iqbal said that incident underscores the growing crowd control problems in that part of midtown, especially when bars on all four corners close at night.
"(With) all the people, it gets crowded. They will walk in the middle of the street, J-walk and they will flip people off," Iqbal explained.
Some visitors said it can get crazy.
"Crazy, as in a lot of people, but not as in drunk, belligerent attitudes or anything. Usually, everyone just keeps to themselves and goes home," said Kyle Costa who frequently visits the area.
Some other people are worried about the level of security, and the lack of lights.
A month ago, two men walking to their car after leaving the bars in Lavender Heights were attacked in the Old Spaghetti Restaurant parking lot. Police are still looking for suspects in that hate crime. Le Tran is among many people who believe there needs to be extra security when the big bar crowds leave for the evening.
"The bars and the clubs provide enough security," Tran said. "It's what happens on the street afterwards that I'm concerned about."
Businesses like Faces Nightclub said they have substantial security. Faces owner Terry Fide said he has as many as 10 security guards during the evening. Other clubs across the street have nearly as many.
Midtown Business Association hired extra patrols, and on Friday nights, two Sacramento Police Department officers patrol that specific area.
"Yes, there are a lot of people at 2 a.m. There will always be," Fide said. "But I believe they disperse nicely. And I think our security takes care of them."
Iqbal said he doesn't plan on filing a police report. He claims that he doesn't have the time and he doesn't believe it will do any good. Police said without a report, they can't follow up on the incident.
By Suzanne Phan, firstname.lastname@example.org