Women express safety concerns in downtown McAllen
Channel 5 News went to downtown McAllen and asked some women there if they felt safe in the area.
The question was posed after the operator of The Alibi Bar was arrested on May 11 on a warrant for sexual assault and for furnishing alcohol to a minor.
A second employee at the bar was also arrested on a charge of furnishing alcohol to a minor.
"On a weekday, it's safer,” Laura Guzman said. “But on the weekend, I wouldn't come here alone."
Guzman echoes the sentiment many women expressed that while they felt safe downtown, there's a reason why everyone ends up sticking with their friends.
“I have gotten cat-called already tonight,” Kayla Summer said. “I was walking with three guys, so maybe it would need a few more police officers in case you got in an area by yourself.”
Another bar goer said she’s seen minors getting into bars.
“The truth here in DT is many people — you pay them money, and they let you enter — they don't check your ID or anything," Abril Lira said. “There's guys that would let us in the club when we were underage."
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission's website doesn't state that bars are required to check IDs at bar entrances, despite saying that the act of selling alcohol to a minor is a crime.
A spokesperson for the McAllen Police Department released the following safety tips for those going downtown McAllen:
- Personal safety at a licensed premise begins before arriving at the licensed premise.
- Recognize that alcohol consumption is likely and therefore plan your manner of arrival and departure.
- Designate a driver or manner of transportation to depart the premises.
- Safety is greatest in numbers.
- It should be clear that you are NOT alone at the premise.
- If you are the companion, do NOT leave the other person alone or behind.
- It is wise to let others know your plans including expected time of return.
- Know your alcohol consumption limits, moderate accordingly.
- Never leave your drink unattended.
- Never leave your valuables unattended.
- Always be aware of the conditions of your surroundings.
- Recognize that conditions of your surroundings change.
- When an unknown person approaches you, understand that your surroundings have changed.
- Never trust an unknown person.
- Your cell phone should always be within your hand’s reach.
- Ensure that your cell phone is sufficiently charged for the duration of your outing.
- Trust your instincts, when in doubt about your safety, Call for a Police Officer.
Public safety is a community-wide effort. A police department can ask only three things from the members of its community:
Always practice personal safety.
Always practice personal property safety.
See Something, Say Something.