Brutal, seemingly random, acts of violence are not confined to the roughest neighborhoods in Cleveland, says the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Police and some crime experts said they are occurring with more frequency in inner-ring suburbs with neighborhoods that border Cleveland. The beating this week of a Shaker Heights man out for a walk reverberated with neighbors who said violent attacks are becoming more common. “There have always been crimes like robberies, but what’s scary is that the crimes are getting so much more violent,” said Luiz Coelho of the Ludlow Community Association, a neighborhood group in Shaker Heights.
Rosemary Erickson, an expert in criminal behavior, said crimes have become more violent whether they take place in suburbs or urban areas. There are more and more “stranger-to-stranger” crimes, she said. Last year, Erickson, of Sioux Falls, S.D., testified in Cleveland. She knows that places like Shaker Heights, once the region’s gem, has changed and wrestles with crime more than it did in the past. “Sometimes, we start to care about crime when it spreads to places we care about,” she said. “If you plot crime and find the worst place for shootings is in the inner city, a lot of people will say, ‘That doesn’t affect me.’ But when something like a beating happens, people start to pay attention.”