DENVER (KDVR) — A man captured open drug use and fighting on video on the 16th Street Mall, raising concerns about safety measures during the holiday season.
Jimmy, who does not want to use his last name, told FOX31 he enjoys the festive beauty of the 16th Street Mall during the holidays.
“They got the skating rink downtown and all of the attractions,” he said.
Jimmy said that’s why he was saddened to witness a man smoking a toxic substance in the back of the Free MallRide bus.
“Right when I went to get on, this guy’s lighting up a piece of tin foil,” he said.
Jimmy complained to the driver, who he said was quick to address the matter. But when he stepped off the bus, he later encountered more drug use near Court Place.
“These guys blew a cloud of smoke. I told them, ‘Hey man, I’m breathing that in,’ and they started cussing at me, they were threatening me and told me to leave,” he said.
When Jimmy took out his cell phone to record the activity, things escalated.
“They got pepper spray, bear spray, and they sprayed it, but the wind had blew it back on them,” he said.
RTD records dozens of assaults on transit routes
The Problem Solvers found RTD documented at least 178 passenger reports of assault or injury during 2021 and the first two months of 2022.
More than a third of documented incidents occurred on Colfax Avenue routes. The Free MallRide had the second-highest number of incidents in 2020, with 18 actually reported.
RTD told FOX31 they are working closely with the Denver Police Department to ensure the safety of riders and those near RTD platforms. Patrols have been increased in all areas.
Anyone who witnesses illegal or disruptive activity should contact transit police. The Transit Watch App allows citizens to make anonymous reports and upload pictures or videos.
Crime should be reported to Denver Police. Call 911 for emergencies.
It is important to use common sense in any area of the city. Avoid walking alone, secure your belongings and lock your car.