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KGUN 9 Tucson News

Business owner wants more done by elected officials about crime, drug-use

By Kenny Darr,


Mike Carlson has been in business for 35 years.

The owner of The Carlson Co. says drug and crime-related issues near his business on Fort Lowell Road have become worse over the past few years.

"Tagging was the biggest problem we used to have," Carlson said. "I would say about 2019, things started to escalate."

The final straw came Thursday when a man trespassed into his business in a situation he described as "odd."

"A gentleman came into our front office with my two female secretaries with his pants down and fully exposed himself," he said.

According to Carlson, the man would refuse to leave when asked by two of his employees working the front desk.

Eventually, he would get the man to leave the property; Carlson says that’s when he was threatened by the man with a sharp piece of broken tile.

"At that point, he picked up this and had this cocked back like this waiting to throw it at me," he said while holding the piece of tile.

Carlson claims it was his third assault in six months. He said after calling 911, they were told someone would meet them at his business in a few days.

Frustrated by what they call a lack of leadership from elected officials, his wife, Monica Carlson, and four others formed the Tucson Crime Free Coalition in September 2022.

She explained, "We saw a lot of need for a police presence that isn’t there for crime, the fentanyl crisis that’s going on and getting worse."

Monica says it’s disheartening to see very little being done.

"It’s very sad that some of our elected leaders are allowing this to happen," she said. "And giving these people what they need to continue this lifestyle without helping them."

Despite the city's lack of communication, Carlson intends to keep pushing for change until something is done.

"From the top down, I’d like to see some law and order," Carlson said. "And some respect for the business people in the community who are stuck paying for it."

KGUN 9 reached out to Ward 3 council member Kevin Dahl, who was not available for an interview.

Kenny Darr is a reporter for KGUN 9 . He joined the team in January 2023. Before arriving in Arizona he was an Anchor and Reporter at KADN in Lafayette, LA. Share your story ideas with Kenny by emailing or by connecting on Facebook , Instagram or Twitter.

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