CHARLOTTE, NC – “I pretty much just make sure that I do everything that I have to do before the sun goes down,” says West Charlotte resident Erica Poe.
Poe says she’s careful not to walk the stretch of West Boulevard near West Tyvola Road at night.
An 18-year-old girl tells police a man forced her into his car here Thursday night.
She says he took her to a nearby vacant home on Ridge Avenue – and raped her.
“That’s unfortunate. And that is unfortunate and untimely,” says Reid Park Neighborhood President Rickey Hall.
Hall says the community is improving – and that this crime doesn’t reflect the people who live here.
Community groups and churches have been working to buy as many of the abandoned homes as possible.
“To acquire those. To rehab, and redevelop, refurbish them and then sell them to people for home ownership purposes,” Hall says.
Angela Edwards lives next to the vacant house where the alleged crime happened.
She says while there’s still a long way to go – she has seen things turn around over the past five years.
“Maybe it was bad with the drugs and all that stuff, but that’s changing. And so some of the people from the outside, they’re kinda rallying against the change, but there’s still gonna be a great change. I see that coming,” she says.