Springfield, MO — A man is recovering after he was violently assaulted while walking in his neighborhood with his family. Police told KSPR News the man was in the Rountree neighborhood in central Springfield and they believe he was the victim of a random crime.
According to the police report, the man was with his wife and young child on September 16 when an unknown assailant attacked the man near Catalpa Street and Delaware Avenue.
Cpl. Matt Brown with the Springfield Police Department said the assault looked to be unprovoked.
"There's probably reason for concern, especially since it seems random," said Brown.
Rountree residents hope the crime isn't a sign on the times.
"It's a beautiful street, particularly in the fall when the leaves are all turning because there are a lot of maples. We've enjoyed it, it's a nice neighborhood," said Ed Deck, who lives in the neighborhood.
Deck and his wife Mary moved into their home in 1978. The canopy lined roads and kid friendly area attracted the couple to the community.
"This is not known as a high crime area. It's an established area, established neighborhood," explained Deck. "Obviously I didn't pay the kind of money we did for this house to be in a neighborhood that was involved in a lot of fights and trouble and disturbances and so on."
Since then, a lot has changed on their once sleepy street. Police records indicate violence is up. Just in the past month, there have already been more than six assault calls. Thefts and domestic disturbances are also on the rise. For Deck, the crime is too close for comfort.
"We hate to hear something like that to occur," he said while his wife nodded in agreement. "When it starts getting that close, you are always concerned what can creep in here and is it the effect of what? The University? Rental houses? We don't have many in this area."
The neighborhood has a watch program and online newsletter of events to help keep track of crime. Yet according to people who live in the community, the most important way to stop the violence is to be a good neighbor.