Neighbors seek safer park after man attempts to sexually assault - KCTV5

Neighbors seek safer park after man attempts to sexually assault toddler

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William Bates Jr., 24, has been charged with two counts of attempted sodomy.  (KCPD) William Bates Jr., 24, has been charged with two counts of attempted sodomy. (KCPD)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The community around a Kansas City park wants something done to keep the area safe.

This comes just days after a man attacked and tried to sexually assault a 2-year-old girl at Kemp Park.

The attack happened last Friday at 10th and Harrison streets, according to court documents. William Bates Jr., 24, has been charged with two counts of attempted sodomy. 

According to documents, Bates is accused of pulling down the girl's diaper and then his own pants. The suspect then began thrusting his hips. Court documents state the victim's mother noticed the suspect staring at children in the area.  The mother of the victim ran towards the child and suspect, when the suspect fell. The mother got on top of the suspect and began striking him before he ran off, records show. 

After the incident, there has been a surge of activity from businesses in the area to try and determine what needs to be done moving forward.

According to officials with Restart Inc, the homeless shelter across the street from the park, there are cameras being monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Still, there is some believe more needs to be done in an effort to make the community safe.

While police say they haven’t seen any trends in the area for crime, Restart officials believe if they can be designated as a community improvement district, they would be ale to get an ambassador program to get things in the right direction.

"That first line of folks that are keeping the place clean and monitoring and noticing what's going on, because we know that we don't have enough police personnel for anywhere throughout the city to respond to everything. So we think that knowing your own neighborhood is the first step," said Evie Craig with Restart.

Craig said they had a special safety committee meeting Tuesday afternoon with The Paseo West Neighborhood Association and officials from the city to discuss the next steps.

According to Sgt. Kari Thompson, a Kansas City police spokeswoman, there were seven reports made dealing with crimes in the area all of last year. They ranged from domestic violence assault and rape to stolen cars.

Currently, Kansas City police are partnering with the area to see what can be done to make the area safer.

"I'm worried about our families and our folks here. We want to make sure that everyone feels safe, and when they don't, we want to make sure that we're taking steps in collaboration with our neighbors because we are all here to see that they do," Craig said.

Moving forward, restart officials say they’ve been discussing the possibility of adding specific operating hours and determining a specific point of contact so they can get police out into the area quickly if a problem is noticed.

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