Night Out Against Crime

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 8, 2005

Anti-crime block parties draw crowds


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE — The National Night Out Against Crime was held Tuesday night, and residents of St. John the Baptist and St. Charles parishes emerged to unite with their neighbors and send a message to stop crime.

In St. John, where 39 parties were held in various neighborhoods, residents such as Judy Longwell of Belle Terre in LaPlace, said she feels it is important to connect with neighbors to feel safe, and the gatherings are good for the children of the area.

“We want to let the kids know the deputies from the sheriff’s office are there friends,” she said.

One of the largest events was the “Donny-Do” party, held on Greenwood Drive in LaPlace. The party, which drew a crowd of over 250, was held in memory of Donny Guarino, who was shot in front of his home on July 9 in front of neighbors and his daughter.

In response, Guarino’s neighbors, Kyle Ellison and Bobby Lodrigues, organized the gathering to help the community heal from violence and join the fight against crime.

The Night Out Against Crime is held annually with the purpose of uniting citizens with their neighbors and law enforcement to help build a barrier keeping violence and other crimes out of their neighborhoods.

Lodrigues has said he and his neighbors are already planning to do it again next year.

“We’re thinking about combining parties, and raising enough money to get a band,” he said, “It’s for a good cause.”