North Park residents get involved since attacks - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

North Park residents get involved since attacks

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - David Drake, 23, has been in jail since September of last year, and is being accused of attacking seven women in North Park.

The attacks occurred between April and August of 2014.

Since Drake's arrest and the attacks, the area has grown with more nightlife and families have moved in.

There has also been a rise in neighbors wanting to get involved in keeping their community safe.

Though an accused predator has been taken off the streets, women's security and fear remains.

"I still have to be careful, and I still have to be careful of my surroundings," said Francine Gallegos, a North Park resident.

In 2014, Gallegos spoke out about the fear during the string of attacks, and on Monday she spoke out again about Drake's preliminary hearing.

"Just talking about it right, just puts things in my head. It's still a fear, the fear is there. It hasn't gone away, but I deal with it a lot better than I did before," she said.

Drake is accused of lurking in North Park, come up from behind and knock women unconscious.

"The overall purpose of all these attacks he committed was because he was a sexual deviant," said Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Tag.

Positive impacts have come from these violent attacks. The Stonewall Citizens' Patrol group, a non-profit volunteer group that patrols the neighborhood, said since the assault, volunteer applications have gone up. They've added three to four people to the force. They have added daytime patrols and continue the Friday and Saturday patrols and always work in pairs.

Francine may be small, but like her confidence, she wears a whistle during her nightly dog walks. She walks with pride knowing that through the violence, she helped build a stronger community.

"You still have to be aware of what is going on because there could be another one out there, and we just never know if there is," she said.

The Stonewall Citizens' Patrol is a volunteer neighborhood watch group that monitors Hillcrest, North Park and University Heights area with over 30 trained volunteers to increase awareness, educate and patrol.

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