Riverwalk attack sparks continued heavy patrolling

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Friday, June 7, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Amanda Warren just moved to Augusta about a month ago and one of her favorite things to do in town is hit the Riverwalk.

"It's really pretty ... the river is so pretty," she said.

But one of the first things Warren heard about when she got to town was the attack on Wesley Spires and his girlfriend, Ashley Solsbee.

"It made me kind of nervous to come down here," she said. "Especially since it was multiple people together ... it wasn't even one person by themselves."

Exactly one month after two men attacked the couple, Spires remains in the hospital, sparking a response from the Augusta Crime Stoppers.

"We started the patrol of the Riverwalk, and we've been very successful in encouraging the public to to cooperate in giving information to the police," said Griff Griffin, executive director of the Augusta Crime Stoppers.

Griffin says there hasn't been any attacks since Crime Stoppers starting patrolling on weekends at the Riverwalk. He says one of their main tactics is spotlighting.

"We don't shine the light in people's eyes," he explained. "We just shine it in the bushes, down in the dark places. Because the bad guys like to hide in darkness, they just love the dark."

Now, the Crime Stoppers are working to increase their numbers to 100,000.

"With 100,000 people, whenever we do have a serious attack like this, if everybody gave a dollar, that'd be a $100,000 reward," Griffin said.

All in an effort to give the public more incentive to go to police when suspects are on the loose.

"We're not the cops," Griffin explained. "All we care about is getting the real bad, violent, armed and dangerous, viscous, mean, nasty guys off the street."

"Good!" Warren said. "It makes me feel safe being here."

In an effort to keep up crime awareness, Augusta Crime Stoppers is now including public figures on their weekend patrols.

On this patrol, Helen Blocker-Adams joins the watch.

Crime Stoppers and law enforcement are on heavy patrol for what is known as "apple picking," where the criminal will target folks on their smartphones and steal them.

Click here for more information on the Augusta Crime Stoppers.

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