Violent night in Chester creates call for curfew return

CHESTER, Pa. - August 14, 2010

At 12:45 a.m. on Aarons Way, a 29-year-old man was critically wounded in a drive by shooting.

The car roared away causing a rude awakening for neighbors.

"I was asleep and it woke me up. I was afraid and then the first thing that came to mind was who got hurt?" resident Verniece Jackson said.

As police sorted out shooting number one, shooting number two occurred at West 4th Street. A 48-year-old man was rushed to Crozer-Chester Hospital in serious condition.

At shortly before 2:00 a.m., another gunshot victim walked into Crozer-Chester. He said he had just left the hospital a few minutes before; he had been there to comfort a friend who had been involved in one of the prior shootings.

He said he left Crozer-Chester and was then caught in a crossfire situation a few blocks from the hospital.

Police say they have not been able to find evidence of that gun battle, but as they were investigating yet another incident, they received a call from 3rd and Kerlin streets that a white car believed involved in the Aaron Way drive by was spotted.

Police say they tried to stop the car and it sped off. It only stopped when it hit a parked car.

Three men jumped out and started to run; one of those men fired on police and police returned fire.

No one was hit, but a Chester police officer fell and broke his arm.

The men then fled into a home. Police surrounded the home and captured the suspects.

The three men have been charged with aggravated assault on police.

Many residents say they are sick of living under siege with bullet holes being everywhere.

"We're diving on the floors here, buddy, with the bullets going through walls," resident Francis Jackson said.

Jackson and others here want to see the return of a 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew which was part of a short-lived state of emergency imposed after four murders earlier this summer.

"We lose most of our kids this time of year; it's a shame to say, but we need the curfew back," resident Wanda Starkey said.

Action News was unable to reach either Chester's mayor or top police officials for their response to calls for a renewed curfew.

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