My residence is near Gretchen Talley Park, Tracy. Since 2005, we have been fortunate to have a strong group of neighbors that excel on neighborhood watches, social activities and addressing community issues via meetings and forums. A great community in general! However, in the past couple of years, we have been challenged by a young individual who, among many other things, caused disruption, undue anxiety and unnecessary stress for the residents. For whatever reason, this gentleman was kicked out of his house and literally made the neighborhood his living space, sleeping on sidewalks and eventually taking up “residency” in our community’s park. He would sleep on picnic tables and benches, would leave massive amounts of debris as well. He blatantly erected a tent and tore down COVID-19 caution tape in the park. Equally disturbing were his menacing demeanor and aggressive loud rants he would occasionally go on at odd hours of the day and evenings. His antics resulted in a few residents calling the Tracy Police repeatedly and eventually forcing a couple to file restraining orders. He has been a staple of the Tracy Press’ police blotter segments. All the while, the neighbors worked collectively to rectify the issue. It took the extension of this restricted order to rid him from our park and terrorizing residents.

Some homeless people are genuinely down on their luck and that is unfortunate. In this case, the individual had an income, a bicycle, and drank expensive alcohol. In my opinion, he was not physically impaired or did not show any reason not to work. This neighborhood bully’s only claim to fame was to harass good hardworking residents. Through due diligence and level-headed members of this small community, we were able to find relief.

Jeff Perez, U.S. Army retired, Tracy

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