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Is Crime an Issue at Atlanta's Trophy Park?

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Before we're accused of hyperbolic fear-mongering, let us say this: For an expansive greenspace in the heart of a major American metropolis, Piedmont Park has its ducks in a row when it comes to general patron safety. When a man was fatally stabbed near the park's lake in 2009, officials were adamant the homicide was the park's first since — at least — the late 1980s, when the Piedmont Park Conservancy formed. That's a stellar track record. It's understood that every knucklehead in the ATL can't be monitored, but can more be done to prevent the park's rare instances of serious crime? The latest was an attempted rape in broad daylight this month.

Midtown Patch reports the female victim was approached about 2 p.m. on Dec. 6, near the lake. The male assailant reportedly said, "I wanna rape you, you slut" with what the would-be victim described as a "despicable voice." The woman ran, and park workers chased the suspect but lost sight of him near Grady High School, where he changed shirts and bolted, according to police. Sounds pretty unnerving. Last year, condo dwellers who live near the park said the source of much trouble is a pair of benches at the southwest corner of the park near 10th and Piedmont — where the so-called "bench gang" hangs out. Crimes linked to the supposed ne'er-do-wells included car break-ins, stolen bicycles, an armed robbery and peeping Tom voyeurism, angry residents said.

· Sketch of Piedmont Park suspect released [Midtown Patch]
· Site of Piedmont Park stabbing popular with cruisers [AJC]
· Some People Can't Stand Park Benches [Midtown Patch]