Reporting Vickie Thomas
DETROIT (WWJ) - One Detroit man is taking an unusual step to warn others about crime in his city.
After 10 years of living on Detroit’s east side, Andre Ventura is ready to pack it in.
“It’s been like a wild west show,” Ventura told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas.
Worried about his neighborhood and fighting to bring attention to the problem, Ventura replaced positive community signs in the area of Cardoni and 8 Mile, just east of I-75, with ones warning people that ”This city is infested by crackheads.”
The former military man said the signs in the park that he built for neighborhood children represent an international distress signal.
“They’ve had machine gun fire coming through here. What goes on here at night? Just sit here one night and watch what goes on here, you just wouldn’t believe it. I mean, you couldn’t even fathom some of the stuff that you see around this place. There’s crackheads, they do all the drug deals, they’re having sex out on picnic tables at night, gunshots all day long. I’m a combat medic and I’m triaging kids that have been shot, stabbed and sliced up because if they call 9-1-1, nobody’s coming,” said Ventura.
Another sign says “Pray for your life and secure your belongings.”
“If you have a trailer locked up with tools in it, they will take the whole trailer, they take the trucks, I mean, I had a snowplow out there and it came up missing in pieces,” he said.
Ventura said 20 to 30 cars stop every day to take pictures of the signs.
“What other advertising company can say that they have that many people that actually respond to any type of sign, that just stop their lives because it’s so overwhelming. But anybody that has been exposed to the city of Detroit that has their eyes open, it’s just a matter of time before you get hit,” he said.