The Troubles in Lakewood

The Troubles in Lakewood

Lyla Combs, Writer

As a student who lives in Lakewood and has lived in Lakewood for most of my life, I have noticed that during the change in seasons between spring and summer, crime rates go up. This can be because of longer days and more time around people and outside, also hot temperatures making people more annoyed and irritable, but unfortunately it causes more fear and distress in a season that is supposed to be full of fun. Students of all ages are more unsupervised and more likely to get into trouble, as well as stressed parents that have kids home all the time causing more negative emotions, making it more likely for them to lash out or harm someone or something.

In just the past month I have witnessed three incidents which have made me feel uneasy within the span of 5 miles from my home.

The first incident happened a little over two weeks ago in the Tillicum neighborhood. There were several guys involved in a high speed chase on the freeway. As the cops grew closer, the vehicle got off at exit 124, zooming into Tillicum continuing their reckless driving. They turned right multiple times, landing themselves on a dead end street. Little did they know there was a large metal gate towards the end of the street, blocking out intruders from the last two houses. The car rammed into the gate, completely destroying it, totaling the car as well as two of the cars belonging to the house owners being totaled and one being damaged. It is unknown whether the guys got caught, but this is a very scary scene that costs trauma and a lot of money to repair the damages done. It is also known that the car was stolen and one of the passengers was carrying a gun which makes this much more chilling.

Similarly, another high speed chase occurred in Tillicum, involving three teenage boys. They had stolen a car and drove away from the police, ending up in the same neighborhood as incident one. Only they stopped on purpose, hopping out of the car and dashing in all different directions. One hid in the homeless camp in the forest nearby, being caught soon after. Another one was found in someone’s property. Whether the third was caught is undetermined. Both incidents happened within two weeks of each other, luckily no one was killed in either, but the people in the cars were likely harmed or concussed in either the gate crash from impact or emotionally.

Finally, just a few days ago, the body of a man was found in Waughop Lake in Fort Steilacoom Park by a man fishing early Thursday morning. News Tribune has yet to reveal if foul play was involved. Despite the fact, it can be a mortifying feeling to know that near you or people you know were even somewhat close to this event. My own sister witnessed the firetrucks and police arriving to clear the scene, and even spotted the body. This event can be traumatizing or triggering for people, so knowing that someone I am so close to has seen this is terrifying.

As the season grows warmer, and the days become longer, we must make sure to avoid these negative situations as best we can to stay out of trouble so we can enjoy our summer break.

Stay safe Lancers and enjoy your summer!