Residents claim gangs blocking entrance to Frayser community center

(WMC-TV) - Several complaints to Memphis police claim gang bullies in Frayser will not let up and they are targeting children at a local recreation center.

One group was supposedly blocking children from entering North Frayser Community Center.

"I just come out here every now and then with my grandson," said Frayser resident Janice Shaw.

Shaw said she and her grandson avoid peak hours at the community center.

"It's kind of OK, you know, but if it's a crowd or something like that, I won't come out," said Shaw.

Police arrested Renarld Gardner for having a pink taser at a public park and for blocking the entrance to the community center.

According to an affidavit of complaint, police have gotten "several complaints about gang members standing outside ... refusing to let the children enter to play."

Eva Hurt said her children have not experienced any trouble, and she hopes it stays that way.

"That would be really alarming to me," said Hurt.

The center director declined an on-camera interview, but said his building stays crowded after school lets out at 2:15.  He said he is not aware of anyone being denied access, but has noticed extra police patrols throughout the neighborhood over the past week.

Memphis police said the neighborhood falls within the target area of its Community Outreach Program.  It is part of the Memphis Police Department's new community policing philosophy.

A volunteer holds a youth enrichment ministry program three days a week at the North Frayser Community Center designed to keep children from getting involved in gangs.

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