Thursday, October 6, 2016

Woman sexually assaulted near downtown Smith Park

JPD issued the following press release and mug shot:


On Monday, October 3, 2016, at approx. 6:30 PM, Jackson Police Officers responded to Catholic Charities at 200 N. Congress St. regarding a sexual assault. Upon officers’ arrival, it was learned a female victim was sexually assaulted in the parking lot of this location. A description of the suspect was provided by the victim and officers were able to locate and detain him a short time later. He is identified as Mitchell Lamar Drake, 45. He was arrested for Sexual Battery and booked into the City Jail.


Kingfish note: This crime took place next to Smith Park. Drake is one of the homeless people who hangs out there on a regular basis and walks around downtown quite a bit.

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

Might want to rethink that headline?

Anonymous said...

Cue up Ben Allen the Prophet in 3 ... 2 ... 1 blaming the religious organizations, non-profits and charities working to help the poor. It is their fault.

Anonymous said...

But the Clarion Ledger just highlighted how misunderstood the homeless are in Jackson. This can't be!

Anonymous said...

Oh,, I thought someone by name of Smith Park committed the assault.

Anonymous said...

see this guy all the time...he is not one of the nice ones....never did anything to me....but I am probably not his type.....so sorry for the lady....

PittPanther said...


I really hope for the woman's sake that sexual assault means she was touched inappropriately, not full on penetration.

Anonymous said...

So can we please bulldoze Smith Park now and get them out of downtown.

That and why Galloway decided to open a shelter and bring all the homeless people to the core of downtown every morning blows my mind. Why not set it up somewhere else on the outskirts of downtown. Plenty of abandoned buildings on mill street where they could have set it up.

Anonymous said...

All women should learn enough to disable an attacker- gouge their eyes, don't be squeamish, hit the testicles, cut off circulation in both carotid arteries (where you feel our pulse in your neck) simultaneously and the attacker will pass out. If he has a brain.

You Tru Wif Dat Newspaper? said...

Smith Park is well known and well-attended by several popular demographics. In a sanctuary city, it's known as a 'safe space'. All safe spaces matter.

Anonymous said...

So, tell me why I should feel safe in downtown Jackson. Many of these vagrants are mentally ill and although I feel for them, I am not willing to risk my personal safety. I am a 50-year-old married female lifelong resident of the city. My business requires going to downtown at least once a month. That's about all I can afford since my car needs frequent alignments. I just wish somebody would buy my house and let me escape this nightmare.

Anonymous said...

11:37 - The homeless shelter (Grace Place)was opened at Galloway because the homeless and hungry people were already living in Smith Park and elsewhere downtown. It didn't bring them in because they were already there. I don't know if this person they arrested was even a regular at Grace Place, but the vast majority of the folks who eat there four days a week are not bad people or criminals. Some have issues, but a lot are there due to circumstances beyond there control. I'd challenge you to volunteer to serve there sometime and you might change your view.

Anonymous said...

Galloway does its best to practice what it preaches. Kind of novel idea.

Anonymous said...

This. This and the murders over the past few weeks. This is why we can't have nice things.

Anonymous said...

I believe there is a group called "Friends of Smith Park" that would like to gain public support towards redesigning the park so that it is more open and well lit from all view points. The park as it is now is dark at night and not safe. Not that safe during the day either it seems. The city needs to start prohibiting panhandling and enforce the existing state statutes 9735-29 which cover Tramps and Vagrants. If the homeless folks need help they should be directed to help centers not allowed to take over parts of downtown and eliminate other citizens rights to enjoy Smith Park and or walk down Capital Street in peace. I am sick of being asked for money by these folks. Downtown revitalization will be greatly hindered if the situation does not change.

Anonymous said...

I work downtown and used to enjoy meeting the wife and young kids at Smith Park for lunch - big pretty trees with shade and room for the kids to run and jump on the 'rocks' in the flowing water. However, over the past few years, it's just not the same for reasons already listed here.

Jess Lookin' Fer A Little Hussle Is All.. said...

When you allow vagrants, tramps, hobos and recalcitrant bums to hang out, congregate and pan handle, what you will end up with are recalcitrant bums, tramps, vagrants and hobos congregating and pan handling. Who the hell has the time, desire or ability to sort out which ones 'have issues', will knock you upside the head and rob or otherwise abuse you?

How easy would it be to forbid the able bodied from begging on Lakeland at St. Dominics or 55 north at County Line? Not one single damned one of them needs food or is trying to 'get to Memphis'. Watch them from a distance for thirty minutes. They'll drop the crutch, rotate, go into the bushes by the Heart Clinic to change and then saunter off westward on Lakeland. Better yet, ride the elevator to any of the top floors at the Heart Clinic and watch them out the windows.

When you enable, you are an enabler.

Anonymous said...

For years I worked at a downtown bank and enjoyed going with co-workers to Smith Park to eat lunch. A great outdoors break to life pushing paper in an office. Then the vagrants and panhandlers moved in. We moved out. Somebody tell me one more time that downtown is coming back. I have heard that crap for years and quit beliveing years ago.

Anonymous said...

Vote Trump! He will appoint sane and rational members of the Supreme Court. The Court is the reason we have so many homeless. They are often mentally ill and/or alcoholics. The Court has ruled that when they are stabalized on medication enough to be rational, then they must be released from mental institutions. Often they are "dumped" downtown by hospitals and institutions. Of course, they start skipping their medications or many just quit taking them because the "voices" are gone or they miss their highs if they are bi-polar. This is a problem nation wide and personally, I believe society should protect them and itself by forcing them into group homes, well monitored. I am so sorry for the woman at Catholic Charities and wish her well. She will never feel the way she felt before the assault. This man has been seen around Jackson for quite a while. I believe he also begs on the Interstate at times.

Anonymous said...

I look outside at Smith Park everyday. Its ridiculous what has come of that place and the homelessness that goes on there. Yet they continue to feed people there. IF DJP really wants to do something they should move these feeding operations elsewhere. Ben will say "well most of them arent bad" Well how am I supposed to know.

How are the going to have a GUMBO festival there this weekend and expect people to come.

A Gallowaytian said...

Groups hold events at Smith Park all the time, especially on Saturdays when the homeless generally aren't there and there is a greater police presence. And thanks to those who recognize that Galloway is doing a good and Christian thing to try to help these people. We do more than just feed them and have had several success stories of people getting back on their feet, getting back to work, etc. I'm not personally involved in this ministry, but admire those who do and am proud to be a member of a church that, at least in this case, puts its money (and other resources) where its mouth is.

Anonymous said...

Hell Yeah I agree with the safe Sapce comment. Madison is a sanctuary city for middle aged white people.

Anonymous said...

Wait this cant be. Victor just put his posse on bikes so this would not happen and let's not forget Vance has said so many times that crime is down.

Mbrookes said...

Have been to the Gumbo Festival every year recently. Evidently the bummy people leave when there are other crowds present. Smith Park is a lovely place and should be reclaimed.

Anonymous said...

I live in Oregon, now. And owning apartment buildings in the Jackson Metro had schooled me well. By the time I'd become stout enough for office buildings, I knew better than to buy them in Jackson, or in anyplace LIKE Jackson.

But I DO care about the city (and still covet a neo-Byzantine building downtown, although I'm not so stupid as to actually buy it). I see Smith Park as a major potential asset for the city.

I can't imagine the current leadership's actually doing it, but taking a look at NYC's Gramercy Park might be a source for ideas. It's fenced & gated, and owned by an association of nearby property owners. It's beautiful to look at, even if you don't go inside. Really, just walking BY Gramercy park is therapeutic. And its stabilizing effect upon the neighborhood's cachet and property values is predictably high. Smith Park COULD be deeded to an association of interested parties/adjacent property owners. Access could be limited.

Saving the existing trees (unless they have already been destroyed...), a Nineteenth Century design, more in keeping with the period of the Governor's Mansion than the current Nixon Era Modern garbage, or the proposed Nixon Era Modern REVIVAL garbage, would be beautiful and appropriate. The current design, and the proposed design, are wholly inappropriate, considering the history of the spot, and the nearby neoclassical Capitol Buildings/Governor's Mansion/Cathedrals/period revival 1920s skyscrapers.

I'm NOT expecting any of this to actually be done, you understand. Given the region's ever-declining demographics, and its ever-worsening "leadership", I expect things to only get worse, in ways as yet unimagined and unimaginable.

Anonymous said...

A church--feeding the hungry, clothing homeless people? I guess Matthew 25:35 just isn't something we really believe anymore...

Anonymous said...

@4:05 - The City Council will not allow JPD to enforce vagrancy laws. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Anonymous said...

Okay, Gallowatian, just where do "the homeless" go on the weekends?
Maybe to their country home? Maybe run down to the coast for some rest and relaxation?

Anonymous said...

2:50 pm

What cases from the US Supreme Court are you referring to......for which you claim the homeless now get thrown out of homes...

Please tell us how you would require sane people to be kept in homes?

Are you serious? Once cured...you would keep them behind bars? Why cure them?

Are you a sadist?

Have you eaten your kids?

Abandon It And They Will Come.. said...

"Groups hold events at Smith Park all the time, especially on Saturdays when the homeless generally aren't there and there is a greater police presence."

Wait a minute! Think about what you just posted at 3:56. First of all, is that even true? Do the vagrants really abandon the place on Saturday? And if so, why? They don't even know what day Saturday falls on. Are the police only present on Saturday? If so, why? And if vagrants disappear when the police are present, is that not some sort of clue?

And, no, this is not a discussion about Christianity or Matthew 25. It's about irresponsible government authority and turning over the keys to this city to vagrants, non-tax payers, criminals, thugs and hustling political types.

Why run the roaches out of the cabinet if you can make the some pay by showing up to write up a police report of an assault?

Anonymous said...

Downtown revitalization will be greatly hindered if the situation does not change.

Dead on arrival.

Anonymous said...

FREE SMITH PARK!

Anonymous said...

thats kennys friend ,,enoch sanders,,,no i guess not

Anonymous said...

October 6, 2016 at 12:57 PM I feel your pain. I've been trying to sell my house for two years. I've lowered the price several times. Also, The yazoo clay (swell & shrink) makes the house dance the boogaloe. I buy plaster in 5 gallon buckets. Jackson politicians keep wanting more taxes. Well, they are going in the wrong direction when you have to sell a house 75% below what you paid for it. Hang in there 12:57 PM, it will sell.

Anonymous said...

The police do enforce panhandle laws. I haven't seen anyone across from St. D's in a while. If you see panhandlers anywhere call 601-960-1234 and give them a good description of the offender. You will be treated courteously. There was one on a small strip of median on the east side of I55N just south of County Line the other day. I called. He was dangerous to traffic and to himself. Try it and help stop this practice.

Anonymous said...

5:09... someone questioned Galloway Church for feeding the homeless. So a church can't provide services for the least of those among us?

Anonymous said...

"A church--feeding the hungry, clothing homeless people? I guess Matthew 25:35 just isn't something we really believe anymore..."

A very charitable thought, of course. However, on an intense, personal level, I do not want my mother, wife, sisters or daughter around a rapist when they need to go past a public park because they need to do something downtown. Maybe you don't share that concern about your female relatives, but that's unfortunate for them. On a larger, more abstract scale, I don't think it' good for any community to have any females running the risk of encountering this sort of violence.

So, to resolve this conflict, please explain just how many rapes you are willing to tolerate in order to keep enabling beggars to be beggars. Please quantitate (that means give a specific number, JPS grads).


"The police do enforce panhandle laws. I haven't seen anyone across from St. D's in a while"

Saw one this week.

Anonymous said...

Kane Ditto= Slumlord Millionaire

Anonymous said...

Churches mean well but in fact make many things worse. Their bleeding hearts make others pay the costs.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone has a problem with Galloway feeding the homeless. It's the fact they feed them in the heart of downtown. This does much more harm than good.

Anonymous said...

The folks that feed the pond scum along with those that are really in need should add salt peter to the seasoning. And this piece of human trash needs to be Chris Epps cell mate.

Anonymous said...

5:04 pm
The inability to involuntarily commit the mentally ill and substance abusers to treatment started with a piece by Geraldo Rivera when he was on 20/20 in the early '70's. It was a sensationalized piece about two mental hospitals. Public outrage was such that Congress passed the law that no one could be involuntary committed unless it could be proven that they were a danger to themselves or others. In other words they had to attempt or succeed in inflicting bodily harm. The Supreme Court has had no choice but to uphold the law.
The law passed was during the Nixon Administration and the GOP voted for the law as well as Democrats to pander to the public outrage Geraldo created. Nixon didn't veto.
Geraldo interviewed 5 people in mental hospitals. All were functioning as help ( groundskeepers, gardeners, handyman work, in hospital libraries), at the hospital because they were well maintained on medications that worked and having a useful , worthwhile existence is a good thing. Geraldo thought them " slave labor". He found also found two patients who had very low IQs. Hospital medical staff, of course, could not tell Geraldo why the patients were still committed because of confidentially so they all had " no comment". No one , of course, followed up on how any of those patients functioned once they were released into the community. They should have. Then, the details of why these people were institutionalized might have become obvious.
This is what happens when you make policy based on media sensationalism without bothering to get the all the facts.
Two of the worst psychotic child abusers on my case load were released after the law passed. Of the two, one got their child back because they stayed on medication long enough. There isn't a happy ending but rather a horror story.
Instead of passing such a sweeping law, we could have made a law that required those states with insufficient safeguards to strengthen their laws to protect the individual rights of the mentally ill and those who haven't the ability to live independently . We could have set federal requirements for mental health facilities. But, that would have required Congress to learn enough about mental illness and substance abuse and existing laws that did or didn't work to do that well. And, the public was too impatient for change not to have immediate satisfaction.

And, of course, homelessness took on a different meaning in society . No longer were " street people", vagrants and panhandlers a rarity. Veterans who came home from combat in WWII who suffered from what we now call PTSD who once got immediate help because their loved ones could privately force that to happen if their VA was ill equipped too became combat vets of later wars who got worse and worse until they became a danger by actually trying to hurt themselves or someone else.

Medications seldom become cures of mental illness, but they can hide the obvious symptoms well enough so the person functions and the public is unaware of the instability of those with whom they deal. And, the mentally ill are often smart enough to mask their symptoms, often by isolating themselves from others.

We once had a vice presidential candidate who suffered from a rather treatable form of depression who was taken off the ticket once it was known. Now, I see those running for office or in office or leaders in politics who are displaying clinical symptoms of a far more serious mental illnesses or possibly early onset of dementia or Alzheimer's.

The anger and distrust of our institutions isn't due to these emotional issues that we fight over , but rather with sentences in bills passed over decades that were ill conceived and/or influenced by paid lobbyists to make what had been illegal legal and to erase good laws that protected the public.














Anonymous said...

7:37PM I think you meant "quantify" by the way you used "quantitate" as a verb in your sentence. JPS grad here...you're welcome.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think anyone reads those long screeds of yours @8:15?

Anonymous said...

@2;50 has hit the nail on the head! The lunatic liberal do-gooders forced this situation by declaring that it is not "FAIR" the forcibly keep a mentally ill person institutionalized against his will!!! They apparently believe it is MUCH better to turn them out on the street to sleep on a park bench with nothing but a used garbage bag for cover. It is MUCH better to have them panhandling for a few bucks to buy a happy meal and a bottle of cheap wine. And, if one or two of them turns out to be dangerous to the public, well....that's just the price we are supposed to pay in the interest of "fairness".

Anonymous said...

The perpetrator likely is a prime candidate for mental health services, which continue to be slashed by the state, and so, instead of being where he likely belongs receiving much needed care, he is dumped downtown like so many others. This isn't just a downtown problem. This is a Mississippi problem.

Kingfish said...

I see him downtown all of the time. He is not exactly all there.

Anonymous said...

KF, you could say that about any person who would choose to live in Jackson.

Anonymous said...

It's pure bullshit to claim the cops have put a stop to pan-handling in Jacktown. There was one in a blue windbreaker today at 11:50 in front of St. Dominics Hospital. Sign said, "Hungry - Please help". None of these people is hungry (and IS is the proper word).

Anonymous said...

11:30 - the state of MS spends more dollars for mental health than you can begin to count. This perpetrator is probably a prime candidate as you say, but somebody has to put him into the system. Just because he needs help doesn't mean that the state can give it to him. And its not budget issues that kept him from being treated. Please go back to your bureaucratic, or democratic (redundant, I know) talking points and tell us all just what has been slashed from mental health budgets in the state.

Anonymous said...

"put him in the system", you say. What the hell does that mean? Hook him up with free 'counseling' for one time at half an hour so somebody can enter him in a case file somewhere online? He needs to be warehoused. Pure and simple. Keep him away from civilization where he is safe and no harm to others or himself. But that is impossible under our federal court system.

Anonymous said...

He will be back in the park within the next week or two!!!

Anonymous said...

He'll be in the park again by Thursday. The only change will be that he'll be more cautious. Instead of 'grabbing the pu**y', he has be counseled to not go beyond 'touching the shoulder'. Whichever is the case, he needs a woman to introduce him to a 9mm. Let the community raise funds for a pine box.

Anonymous said...

This past Friday morning a panhandler was flagging down cars during a green light and trying to get them to stop.

I work on Lakeland Drive. I haven't noticed any reduction in the number a beggars on the corner.

Kingfish said...

I haven't seen any of Vic's bike patrols and I'm downtown every day and spend some time on Capitol Street as well. They are the best kept secret downtown.

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