14 News Special Report -- Danger Park: Criminals stashing weapons where children play

14 News Special Report -- Danger Park: Criminals stashing weapons where kids play
Evidence photos from the weapons dropped at Bayard Park. (SOURCE: WFIE)
Evidence photos from the weapons dropped at Bayard Park. (SOURCE: WFIE)
Evidence pictures from the weapons dropped at Bayard Park. This is a gun stashed inside playground equipment. (SOURCE: WFIE)
Evidence pictures from the weapons dropped at Bayard Park. This is a gun stashed inside playground equipment. (SOURCE: WFIE)

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Crime in one part of Evansville is bleeding over into an area you think is safe.

Our cameras aren't allowed in courtrooms.

We have to wait sometimes, to bring you things we desperately want to show you.

Our reporter Jess Raatz waited 11 months for a case to wrap up, just to get her hands on evidence photos and body camera footage.

Those elements have finally become public record.

14 NEWS investigated the immediate area surrounding Bayard Park.

In nine months, police responded to 2,326 calls for service including 117 investigations, 15 reports of narcotics, and 38 reports of shots fired.

Even a roundup of gang members this week who allegedly lied to a grand jury back in March, focused on some spots around Bayard Park.

But this sequence of events you're about to witness didn't happen on the streets, it happened in a place you think is a safe haven for your kids, it happened in a public park.

" It's very sad because like I said, it's a public park and the kids want to come here and play.  But as a parent, it's not worth the worry."

EPD officers weren't looking for drugs on May 19th of 2015, they were searching for discarded guns following a shooting and arrest of two suspects.

The two suspects stashed their guns in a place that's supposed to be safe.

Police found their weapons just steps away from the playground, and one gun was found inside the playground equipment.

"That is scary, right there in itself," says Donna Hawes, who lives just steps away from the park.

" The kids could easily pick that up, and shoot themselves or shoot others," explains Maria McClure.

The two suspects, Kelly Wickware Jr and Clifton Fletcher, were charged and eventually took deals in the case.

Officers on the streets, tell me this is what they see everyday.

Criminals using safe places, you trust, to stash what they don't want you to see.

These two were arrested, charged, found guilty, and sentenced.  And what's surprising?  Officers on the streets, tell me this is what they see everyday.  Criminals are using safe places, you trust, to stash what they don't want you to see.

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