SPOKANE--A string of recent assaults in downtown Spokane is prompting council members to review a city ordinance that bans people from sitting or lying around on downtown sidewalks during a significant portion of the day.
The ordinance is currently in effect between seven in the morning and nine at night. There's been talk about expanding that ordinance into the early morning hours and it's now stirring up some debate in the community.
Between June 8th and July 8th police investigated 15 felony assaults. One of the victims included "Vinnie", a well-known developmentally delayed man who was previously featured on KREM2 News.
Authorities say the primary suspects in these types of cases tend to be street kids.
Police have increased their presence downtown and officials say it appears to be helping. Since July 9th there have been zero felony assaults. With the possible ordinance extension, there’s hope the good trend will continue.
The Public Safety Committee will be gathering input in the next couple of weeks. City council members could possibly vote on this by early August.