‘No one even knew he was shot:’ Lack of street lighting impacting city’s efforts to fight crime
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - When it comes to crime in Baton Rouge, a lot of people believe poor street lighting is a part of the problem. Now, members of the Metro Council are looking to crack down on the issue by having Entergy Louisiana replace the older lights and repair the broken streetlights.
“If lighting was in the community like it should be, a lot of things that take place here would not take place,” said Yvette Wright.
Wright’s son, Tywon, was shot twice about two weeks ago on Annette Street in the Brookstown area of Baton Rouge. He thankfully survived, but she believes the lack of lighting on the street did not help the situation.
“He said no one even knew he was shot. He was out here laying in the road, screaming and hollering, shining his light on his phone to get help get assistance. He ended up calling EMS himself to help because the road was so dark nobody even knew he was out here,” said Wright.
The only two lights nearby border Annette Street and are very old.
“Ain’t no streets because you got to ride through with your brights on God dang every night,” Tywon said in a video while recovering in the hospital.
“If I go up in the Glen Oaks community, they have three or four lights within the block. In this block here, I have no lights, I have a light at every other stop sign, and that’s an issue,” said Wright.
And they are not alone. Another incident took place on St. Gerard Avenue over the weekend.
“This is what happened Saturday night. Somebody came over there and broke both of my daughter’s passenger side windows out. The glass is set up across the street over there. They just busted the windows out and left,” said Henry Smith.
Smith has been living in his home there for more than 20 years and has complained many times about the old streetlights on his block not giving off enough light to deter crime.
He’s fed up and believes more lighting could have prevented his daughter’s situation.
“We pay city taxes, we pay property taxes, we pay state taxes, so why can’t we get anything done in the 70805 area,” questioned Smith.
“And so, we want to take it even further and put it in an agreement, where we can hold them accountable,” said Metro Councilman Darryl Hurst of District 5.
At their last meeting, members of the East Baton Rouge Metro Council pressed Entergy Louisiana on their role in all this.
Councilman Hurst says while the city-parish is in charge of the infrastructure, Entergy has a maintenance obligation to change the bulbs.
But he wants accountability to be taken a step further.
“We’ve gotten with Andy Dotson the parish attorney, and we’re looking to change the language to be able to hold Entergy accountable, to be able to change lights in a certain time, to be able to cut limbs off of powerlines in a certain time. And so, we need either more people on the street from Entergy checking, or we need a mechanism in place that lets us know when crime is out. So, especially in our high crime areas, we can get it resolved as soon as possible,” said Hurst.
“Ain’t no one spoke up about the issues that plaguing this community, so we came to speak about it,” said Wright.
Entergy Louisiana provided WAFB with a statement on the street light outages in Baton Rouge:
Baton Rouge residents are urged to dial 3-1-1 to report any streetlights that are out in their neighborhood.
Click here to report a typo.
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