Patrols stepped up amid recent Oak Lawn attacks

Dallas police are talking about their task force operations in and around the Oak Lawn area.

At least a dozen violent robberies and beatings have taken place in the area in the last two months, and police are working to catch the suspects before they attack again.

Police have stepped up their presence and neighbors are being asked to report any suspicious activity and always be aware of their surroundings.

“I literally live a third of a mile from my job, but I refuse to walk home that late at night,” said Jarret Duke. “I don't feel comfortable."

Duke has reason to feel uncomfortable. It was a Friday night in late August when Duke says he was brutally beaten, robbed and knocked unconscious along Wycliff Avenue in Oak Lawn.

"I have some scars in the back of my head and on the side,” said Duke.

Not including Duke, there have been 11 documented attacks since the Oak Lawn gay pride parade in September. That number may be higher, because like several other victims, Duke did not pursue the matter with police.

The two most recent robberies happened early Monday morning, just hours apart.

Dallas Police Department Mjr. Jimmy Vaughn says he's deploying another crime response team to the area in addition to the task force already in place.

Vaughn believes there are several groups targeting the area.

"We have several suspects that we are working on,” said Vaughn. “Not positive leads, but we have general descriptions and we don't believe they are all connected in some way."

While the incidents have taken place in the heart of the LGBT community and all of the documented victims are men, Vaughn doesn’t believe members of the gay community are specifically being targeted. 

"Out of the 11 offenses, only one of them has been categorized as a hate crime,” said Vaughn.

Two private security companies have offered to provide extra marked units patrolling the area.

Most attacks have been happening late at night or early in the mornings.

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