Doug Davidoff, an active member of the Downtown scene, shares his perspective as a neighborhood resident originally posted in the OIB comments section. He writes Downtown is active and safe. One problem area, however, is Tiago’s Bar and Grill, owned by Deputy Director of Public Works Joe Tiago. Davidoff also shares a recent video that captures activity outside the bar. From Davidoff:
Downtown in the evening is surprisingly alive in many parts. Fairfield Avenue is alive. State Street is alive. Main Street is alive. Bank Street is alive. Broad Street is alive, above and below the steps. Water Street is alive. Even the first block of Main Street north of Fairfield is coming alive. The trend is to aliveness.
– Chief A.J. Perez is correct in saying that Downtown Bridgeport is very safe. Truly, it is. Bridgeport Police patrols are frequent. Moreover, a growing level of 24/7 legitimate and legal activity contributes to safety. There is no pattern of danger. Truly, the horrible crime of murder appears to be isolated. I’d walk on McLevy Green again any time. But A.J.’s comments ignore the problem of Tiago’s, owned by one of his colleagues in senior management of city government. A.J. needs to be real and specific about the problem at Tiago’s Bar and Grill, on State Street across from McLevy Green. (More on this below.) Downtown is safe. But not all of downtown is safe; Tiago’s is often the locus of out-of-control behavior requiring attention from multiple police patrol units.
– Downtown is dangerous only to the people who cling to fear that it’s dangerous. Fact is: My security is better than your security. Fact is: Visitors to downtown stroll about in safety. Fact is: If you’re anxious about being in danger, you’re going to feel in danger.
– Returning to Tiago’s, I urge OIB readers to read comments I wrote in response to the original post about the murder, including a video of a typical brawl police have to break up at closing time. The video was taken five nights before the murder. My earlier comments are found at:
The video of a typical night of disturbances at Tiago’s, taken five nights earlier, is found at:
A map showing major residential and office areas in the vicinity of Tiago’s is also available at:
Tiago’s is the locus of brawls and routinely an awful drain on police resources. This should stop; our city budget cannot afford it. Moreover, crowd control should be handled by the establishment, not by the publicly funded police. In terms of downtown safety, I wouldn’t stay away from downtown. But I recommend giving Tiago’s a wide berth, especially after midnight.