A thousand thanks to our neighbors for their hardy spirit and willingness to pull together in the midst of recent troubles that have invaded our quaint top of the hill location. On Sunday morning one of our neighbors and his girlfriend were violently attacked by three men as he came home from work. This followed the attack of a woman coming home from work who parked on our street three weeks before.

It didn’t take long to move us to action. On Monday night, more than 50 neighbors from the 200 and 300 blocks of E. Highland and from Ardleigh and Anderson gathered in my house for an impromptu meeting. We originally thought we may have a handful of people show up; imagine our surprise when it was standing room only!

Many thanks are in order for an informative night and a show of banding together. Thanks to police officers Chris Bartolo and Walt Bielski for their discussions on our block’s behalf with the investigating detectives of both cases and similar cases. Thanks to our brave Kyle Patel who shared his personal experience as the victim of the recent crime, and neighbor Chris McLaughlin for shouting out his window and driving the attackers away. Thanks to neighbors for sharing news about other possible sightings as information will arm us.

Thanks to Chestnut Hill Community Association board members and neighbors Mark Keintz and Julie Byrne for joining us, and to board member Chris Padova for telling us about the Chestnut Hill town watch. Thanks to my Fund Drive Co-Chair Bob Fles for helping me moderate the night and share prevention tips. And final thanks to Paula Riley for offering to update our neighborhood email lists so we can connect the neighbors via a future listserv.

We want the restaurant employees to know that we are looking out for you. If at any time you feel threatened, you are welcome to knock on any door on E. Highland, Ardleigh, Meade and Evergreen or yell and know we are there for you. It’s time to work together. We also hope that the Parking Foundation helps find solutions for employees who must make late-night walks to their cars in residential areas like ours after restaurants and bars close.

We also have a clear message to the criminal element invading our neighborhood – it’s time to pack up! We are organized and you are not welcome here.

To my neighbors, remember lights on past 2 a.m. Let’s light up this neighborhood and continue to look after each other.

Laura Lucas

CHCA board member & proud resident of 200 E. Highland

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