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Downtown stabbing 'not the norm,' business owners say

Posted August 2, 2010

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— The stabbing of a store owner in one of the oldest parts of downtown Raleigh is not the norm, local business owners say.

Raleigh police arrested Fred Rogers Bryant Jr., 48, Monday afternoon in connection with a stabbing earlier in the day at the men's clothing outlet, Looking Good, at 301 S. Wilmington St.

The victim, identified as Jaiprakash Bhatia, 64, was taken to WakeMed for treatment of injuries that police said did not appear to be life-threatening.

Bryant was charged with robbery and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury in connection with the crime.

Police said after committing the robbery and assault, Bryant took a taxicab to Idlewild Avenue, where he entered a home. A short time later, he was arrested by police as he left the residence.

Investigators said it appears the crime stemmed from a robbery attempt.

"All I saw was many officers arrive on the scene and the store owner step out of his store with a bloody shirt," said Marlene Horowitz, a sales associate at the neighboring Reliable Loan and Jewelry.

Business owners say the crime was rare for the area, an older district in downtown that the city has been looking to gentrify.

The economy has been a factor – some who own the older properties are not willing to sell at a price the economy can support, said David Diaz, president of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

Store owner stabbed in attempted robbery Store owner stabbed in attempted robbery

"While I think we've seen some investment on Wilmington Street, it still hasn't lived up to its potential," Diaz said. "Property owners have wild expectations about the value of their property."

Despite the stabbing, Diaz said, downtown still is an appealing combination of the old and the new.

"All of that is what is downtown," he said. "I think, for the most part, we get a lot of people walking through downtown and they feel very safe, as they should."

Thousands of people, Diaz added, attended the downtown street festival, Raleigh Wide Open, on Saturday.

City officials estimated about 100,000 people attended the event. There were no serious reports of crimes.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • tjhiggs68 Aug 9, 2010

    these posts! these posts! do people sit back in their air conditioned environments on a laptop all day and think the world is safe, regardless of location? Very sad mentalities that run rampant with closed minded visions.

  • dougalu Aug 3, 2010

    The pan handlers will get in your face and say "give it up"!

  • schlitzmalt Aug 3, 2010

    You start walking east from that location at night, and you'll get mugged before you get tired from your walk.

  • jdag Aug 3, 2010

    I get pretty fed up with these comments about Durham. In my opinion, Downtown Durham is one of the safest places to be these days. Plus, there's a lot going on. Revolution, Pinhook, Ballpark, DPAC, Tobacco Road, I could go on and on. If you haven't been to Durham lately, I invite you to come over and have a great "safe" time.

  • ccs1920 Aug 3, 2010

    I have to agree that S Wilmington St. has improved over the last few years. It still has more than it's share of drunks, aggressive beggers and assaults. The New Bern Ave. and Poole Rd. areas are where you need to stay away from if possible.

  • bill0 Aug 3, 2010

    "It may not be the norm right there, but you walk 4 or 5 blocks east, and you're in "little Durham" where it's totally the norm."

    More like 8 blocks, but the point stands. Still, for those who haven't been downtown in 5 years, you probably wouldn't recognize it. The "bad" parts are being pushed into smaller and smaller areas. The "nice" parts are growing by leaps and bounds. Slowly but surely, the edges of the "nice" areas are getting developed and the whole place is expanding. The trend is going the opposite direction in most other cities.

  • iworkandpaytaxes Aug 3, 2010

    It may not be the norm right there, but you walk 4 or 5 blocks east, and you're in "little Durham" where it's totally the norm.
    August 3, 2010 8:37 a.m.

    Name the last 5 stabbings. Dates please. Thank you.

  • schlitzmalt Aug 3, 2010

    It may not be the norm right there, but you walk 4 or 5 blocks east, and you're in "little Durham" where it's totally the norm.

  • WHEEL Aug 3, 2010

    How dare the property owners not sell to the Downtown Alliance for a price Mr Diaz thinks is fair. They better hope he doesn't get Meeker and Allen after them.

  • wralgolo2 Aug 3, 2010

    Not surprised by the location or the perp