Families complain of drug and alcohol use at Henrico park - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Families complain of drug and alcohol use at Eastern Henrico park

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

Drug and alcohol use at a popular spot for some families in Eastern Henrico has neighbors on edge. 

Just this past week, two men were arrested on drug charges at Hidden Creek Park. On Tuesday, a police officer was seen patrolling the park. Tucked behind trees at the end of Brockway Lane, it's a prime spot for illicit activity.

"I have a 17-year-old daughter and I don't allow her to go back there," said Claudette Newton, who has lived in the neighborhood for five years and has several concerns. "Some things like the older men and the older women using drugs in the park, smoking marijuana."

In the most recent incident, police say an officer saw a man throw something in a trash can. It ended up being drug paraphernalia. The officer arrested Justin Boyd and charged him with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. Another man, Mitone Barnes is also charged with possession.

The park is closed after dark, but neighbors showed NBC12 another way to enter. A trail in the back of the park remains open even after hours. An officer familiar with the area says neighbors have been complaining about drug use in the park for quite some time. Police say patrols at parks have increased because of the Summer Heat Initiative to prevent crime. The drug use is concerning to families who throw parties at the recreation center and have children who play here

"You don't ever know when they will go off and start shooting and stuff," said Horace Veneable, who has lived in the area more than 40 years. "I say where am I supposed to live? I'm 97-years-old, where am I supposed to go now?"

Neighborhood crime watch leaders are being urged to report any suspicious activity.

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