Councillor-at-Large George Rotondo is seeking an increased police presence at the Wonderland Marketplace, both through more patrols and the management of the plaza hiring a detail officer. Last Monday night, the City Council approved a motion made by Rotondo asking the mayor to request more police patrols for the plaza.
Recently, Rotondo said, he has both received calls about and witnessed some disturbing behavior at some of the stores in the plaza on the VFW Parkway. “There is one particular person who has been banned by the State Police to be on the beach, and now he is roaming around the neighborhoods and ended up down at Casablanca Bakery,” said Rotondo. “He was hurling, from what I have been told, anti-Muslim and anti-Arab words. He was threatening the patrons and making a scene.”
There was also an altercation at the Marshalls in the plaza involving another person that Rotondo said he was recently told about. The councillor said he also witnessed a disturbing incident at the Marshalls recently. “I went into Marshalls the other day to shop, and this gentleman literally walked out – he had a big fishing knife in his pocket – and he walked out with a bag full of clothing,” said Rotondo. One of the employees started to go after the shoplifter, Rotondo said, but then thought better of it.
“I was told by the person that was in charge that day that this was a frequent occurrence,” he said. “There used to be a detail officer down there, and I think they need to put a detail down there again, and I think the management for Wonderland Marketplace should be paying for it.”
Rotondo said he has also received complaints about homeless people going into the gym at the plaza. “I understand the needs of the homeless and my heart goes out to them, but they are using this as a place to cause a little bit of a problem,” said Rotondo.