Drug investigators spent the early morning hours in an East Erie neighborhood. Some residents tell us the crime doesn’t come as a surprise.
The whole idea behind revitalizing neighborhoods comes back to improving quality of life, but nine years after one of the largest investment projects in Erie, neighbors say not much has changed.
Friday morning residents on East 21st Street woke up to what they thought was an explosion. “I heard the huge bang. I thought someone was shooting outside my house.” But, it turns out that the noise came from police blowing open the lock on a door to a home in the 600 block.
That’s where a drug raid took place shortly after 6am. The State Police Vice Unit, along with the Special Emergency Response Team responded to the call, taking one man into custody, now identified as Franklin Purdy.
Neighbors did not want to be identified, but they say these crimes are not out of the ordinary. “There’s always traffic going in and out. People have told me that’s a drug house. That’s where they get their drugs. Last winter someone came and hit this stop sign because someone stole their car.”
Longtime residents say for a short time, they thought there may be a change in direction for the neighborhood. Back in 2009, a home on East 21st Street was subject to an Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Another neighbor who also did not want to be identified says the investment unfortunately only had a short-term impact. “It didn’t really make a difference. Just that house made a difference.”
Neighbors say while the investments in the area didn’t stop the crime, they say the number of crimes is not overwhelming.
None of the neighbors we spoke to wanted to be shown on camera, one citing fear of being identified. But, many residents say outside of the crime once in a while, East 21st Street is a good place to live.