Retro Charlotte

1965: Myers Park’s thug trouble

“Empty parking lot means most of the teenagers have gone home. Gerald Lammonds is on the job.”
“Empty parking lot means most of the teenagers have gone home. Gerald Lammonds is on the job.” The Charlotte Observer

A Myers Park neighborhood was plagued in 1965 by vandalism and harassment from “young toughs”. The trouble was concentrated near the intersection of Selwyn Avenue and Colony Road -- an area then called Hardeeville. Business owners and residents demanded help from the city. Read below to see what happened (and why the name Hardeeville?), then click through the slideshow for photos of the Hardeeville night patrol.

+ + + + +

From a November, 1965 Observer story:

“Hardeeville is a sort of shopping center which grew spontaneously at Selwyn Avenue and Colony Road. It is named for Hardee’s Pharmacy, an old Charlotte business in bright, modern quarters. For more than a year Hardeeville has been plagued by vandalism and teenage activities of something more than mere nuisance value, usually the work of a small gang of boys bent on achieving fame in the annals of local thughood.

A hamburger stand was harassed out of business. A bomb blasted a hole in the ground behind Hardee’s. Windows were broken. Boys hung around in the parking lot generally repudiating the scrubbed, young-modern image of the Pepsi generation. Many mornings the parking lot was found spangled with empty beer cans.”

Help came in the form of Patrolman Gerald L. Lammonds:

Police Start Foot Patrol in Vandal-Menaced Area

November 18, 1965

A policeman has been assigned to foot patrol in the Selwyn Avenue-Colony Road section of Myers Park in an effort to cope with vandalism.

The policeman, Patrolman Gerald L. Lammonds, will work at night in that section until further notice, Assistant Police Chief Ernest Selvey said.

Lammonds began patrolling the area on foot Wednesday night. He carries a radio, which keeps him in touch with police headquarters or nearby patrol cars.

Complaints of young toughs harassing persons in the Selwyn-Colony area have hounded police and city officials for many months.

One drive-in restaurant on Selwyn Avenue closed because the owner said that he couldn’t put up with teenagers who hounded his customers, attacked his curb boys and damaged property.

A drug store operator has repeatedly complained to police of vandalism and of young toughs hanging around his business, creating disturbances.

City Councilman Jerry Tuttle called Monday for increased police protection for businessmen in the area and others who have complained to him.

And Tuesday night, retired Charlotte industrialist, Elwood Sachsenmaier, whose family owns property in the Selwyn-Colony area, brought to The Observer his own plea for beefed-up police protection in that area.

Preparing to begin his first 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. shift Wednesday, Patrolman Lammonds said he viewed his new beat as a challenge.

“First,” he said, “I’ve got to get a good understanding with the merchants and people in the area -- and with those teenagers who are causing the trouble...”

Lammonds said he was asked if he would volunteer for the new job, “and I did.”

“I’m not much for this vandalism, this business of destroying property without reason,” he said.

Another patrolman will fill Lammonds’ place on his two nights off a week, Selvey said.