Beer bottles a problem in Runnymeade neighborhood

By Kristie Willis
DAILY Staff Writer 

Photo: Kathy Garner says this beer bottle broke this windshield on her van parked at 1209 Runnymeade Ave (Woman is holding beer bottle and showing which window was broken out of her van).

After two years, Kathy Garner almost had become used to waking up to the sight of broken glass in her front yard. She wasn't happy that people drove down Runnymeade Avenue Southwest at night and threw beer bottles, but she didn't know how to stop them. 

Then last week she saw her van windshield was shattered. 

When she received a $250 bill for repairs, she decided enough was enough. 

"This has been going on for more than two years, mainly on weekends and holidays. All up and down our street, every few driveways, you can see the broken bottles," Mrs. Garner said. 

"It got to the point where I was ready to pull my hair out over those bottles." 

Mrs. Garner and her husband have contacted the Decatur Police Department about the problem. 

Since the Garners had not seen the suspects, the most police could promise was increased patrolling of the neighborhood. 

So far, no one has been caught throwing beer bottles. 

Mrs. Garner said the bottle throwing does not happen as often as it used to, but the situation hasn't improved. If anything, it's become worse. 

"Last week, we had this problem four nights in a row. On the last night, a bottle hit the van and broke the windshield," she said. 

"That's $250. I don't have an extra $250 a month." 

All has been quiet since then, but Mrs. Garner and her neighbors -- the littering also occurs on the nearby streets of Westmead, Castleman and Dianne -- are bracing themselves for the next round of broken glass, since New Year's Eve is tonight. 

"Every morning I'm afraid I'm going to walk out and see my windshield broken again. I want this to stop. I've even thought of offering a small reward to anyone who has seen who did this or has any information," she said. 

What troubles Mrs. Garner is the thought that whoever is throwing the bottles is drinking and driving, as well. The litter problem is secondary to that hazard, she said. 

Until the problem is resolved, Mrs. Garner continues to pick up the debris and somehow maintain her sense of humor. 

"(The bottle-throwers) are consistent," she said. "They almost always throw Bud Light bottles, but the one that broke the windshield was regular Budweiser -- you know, the hard stuff."

Broken glass ruining Warren Michigan neighborhood