COLUMBIA - A day after a woman was found beaten along Rangeline, residents are feeling afraid. A 34-year-old woman was found covered in blood and wearing only a T-shirt and undergarments at the 2900 Block of Rangeline Street near Big Bear Boulevard about 4:30 p.m yesterday. The woman still has not been identified. She was taken to a local hospital to be treated for what the police are calling an assault. Her location and condition is not being released at this time because the police have not been able to speak to her since she was admitted.
Many people who work along Rangeline knew about what happened and are concerned about safety in Columbia. This incident follows months of increased crime reports in Columbia, and many residents are starting to get afraid.
"It's really scary and it's scary to know you can't walk around anywhere on the street without having to look over your shoulder and fear someone's going to walk up and hurt you," Hannah Krampe said. She works at the Central Bank of Missouri on Rangeline. "[Recent crime has] made me very timid. I have spoken to my dad about getting a license to carry and buy a handheld pistol or pepper spray."
Krampe is not alone in her desire to use fire arms for protections. The consideration of purchasing a firearm is something that came up repeatedly today as we spoke to people who work on Rangline, around where the woman was found.
Justin Long works for Lees Law Care and Equipment and he has been feeling worried about danger in Columbia for a while.
"As soon as the classes open and the funds come along, my wife and I are both going to get a conceal and carry license," he said. "Columbia is getting too bad. A couple weeks ago we had a fight in our parking lot and it took the Columbia Police Department an hour to an hour or 45 minutes to get here."
Frustration with Columbia police was a recurring theme when talking to Columbia residents. A couple of people said the police are not focusing on the real issues, but instead paying more attention to drug and alcohol busts and trying to keep up a certain image with the public.
"[The Police Chief, Kenneth Burton] wants our police to be customer relations representatives," Larry Wayland said. Wayland is the manager of Black Rifle, a gun shop off Rangeline. "He's tough on cops, not on crime."
Wayland says he has not seen an increase in gun sales because of crime in Columbia; the spike is more due to the election and the fear of possibly stricter gun control laws in the future.