One of those reports came from Sunset Cliffs resident Jamie Reid, president of Peninsula Youth Softball Association. Reid’s daughters play their games at Ocean Beach Athletic Area Robb Field.
“We have a drug-user problem at Robb Field,” reported Reid recently in social media. “Literally eight different people came and bought drugs at Field No. 6 right in front of me and several kids. It is unbelievable. The only way we can get the city to respond is if we make noise en masse.”
Reid added that a teddy bear holding a bong may have been used as a “marker” by Robb Field drug sellers.
“One guy in the parking lot was taking car panels out inside of his doors,” he said. “The teddy bear may have been used to indicate where people could go to pick up their drugs. There also were two big white vans pulled up with both having window exchanges.”
Complaints by Reid and others led to a prompt counter-response by San Diego Police Department.
“We’ve shifted some of our walk teams from Newport Avenue to check out Robb Field,” said Lt. Danny Grubbs, SDPD Western Division chief. “We’ve run several operations through Robb Field, which has had a lot of homeless (issues) and narcotics activity. It’s around the bathrooms where the magnitude of the drug issues have been.”
Grubbs said police sweeps of Robb Field have cracked down on drug use there.
“We made 50 arrests and citations in 10 days for varied issues, everything from people violating encroachment and vagrancy laws, to arrests for methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana for illegal sale,” said Grubbs, adding the crackdown has apparently had an effect on criminal activity.
“My (walking) teams tell me their numbers (arrests, citations) has come way down,” he said. “They’d do an hour there (Robb Field) and get one citation and one field interview.”
Reid also speculated drugs at places like Robb Field might be a way of luring young women into the sex-trafficking trade.
“They use drugs to get to girls outside their homes,” he said. “They get them hooked on drugs and then they have them forever. You can see it unfolding – and you know what it is.”
Reid added young athletes were finding discarded syringes at Robb Field in plain view in the middle of the day.
Added Reid, “The whole time, I’ve been wondering, ‘How is this OK under any context?’”
“We’re going to continue to have a stepped-up presence in Robb Field,” said Grubbs.
A meeting between concerned citizens, police and government representatives regarding Robb Field issues was scheduled for this week.