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Cape Coral officials say recent violent crimes don't indicate an uptick

Posted at 7:11 PM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 22:06:59-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — A drive-by shooting that happened Wednesday night adds to the list of crimes Cape Coral has recently experienced.

The drive-by shooting happened just after 10 p.m. at Hurricane Grill & Wings off of SW Pine Island Road.

"We've never had anything like that. We're a family restaurant," said Dave Witker, Owner of Hurricane Grill & Wings.

Cape Coral officials say a suspect drove by the restaurant and shot 4 to 5 times towards the building, striking a customer sitting outside.

"There were no altercations in our parking lot or in the restaurant either, just a guy sitting there eating his dinner with his girlfriend," said Witker.

Fortunately, Witker says the bullet only grazed the man's leg.

"This is unfortunate, and we hope the police will find out what happened," said Witker.

This drive-by shooting follows a string of other violent crimes reported in Cape Coral so far this month.

Last week, a mother was stabbed multiple times in her home in front of her children, and before that, a woman was arrested for the stabbing and murder of her mother.

But what does this mean for our area? Is there an uptick in violent crime?

While it may seem violent crimes are increasing, Cape Coral officials say that is not the case.

"It may look like that, but two of the incidents that we've had are domestic, and the other ones are random," said Master Sgt. Patrick O'Grady, Cape Coral Police Department.

While the violent crime rates haven't gone up, O'Grady says there have been roughly 100 more domestic violence cases compared to last year.

Private investigator and retired police chief, Walter Zalisko, says the COVID-19 crisis could be to blame.

"People are staying cooped up in their homes, with their partners, and things get out of hand, and they get aggravated with each other," said Zalisko.

According to Zalisko, violent crimes have decreased in Cape Coral from 2018 to 2019.

"Cape Coral has over 200,000 people, that's a large city so you can expect some sort of crime to occur," said Zalisko.

Cape Coral officials say they are still investigating Wednesday night's drive-by shooting, and so far, no arrests have been made.