BP assault investigation clearing other criminals from area

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Police told WREG they were working to identify more teens involved in mob-style attack outside a downtown Memphis gas station.

One thing they didn't expect; the investigation leading even more criminals  getting cleared out of the area.

Three Memphis squad cars stayed outside the BP on Poplar and Cleveland Friday morning.

Exactly one week after more than a dozen teens attacked a man helping a woman to her car.

“It shouldn’t take for a man to get beat up like that for something to happen. They should be doing that all the time,” said Howard Smith.

Smith said he hangs out at the gas station almost every day and said since the mob attack, police stepped up patrols,looking for suspicious activity and making the area safer.

That’s how they arrested Robert Hawes Thursday.

“I think them being out here is very reassuring. It shows they are protecting the community as you can see they are,” said gas station customer Chester Hardaway.

Hawes was convicted of aggravated sexual battery in 1993 and rape in 2004.

He wasn't supposed to be anywhere near kids.

The BP was right down the street from Northwest Prep Academy.

Many of the kids seen in surveillance video of the attack were wearing the alternative school’s uniform.

“You don’t need to be around the kids if you are a sex offender. You need to be somewhere else doing something else. I don’t know what, but something else,” said Carrie Brown.

For the last 40 years, Carrie Brown’s walked this neighborhood every day.

She said she often ran into Hawes and some of the Northwest Students in this video.

“All of them not alike. Some of them clown upside down, some don’t. I’ve seen them out here battling, fighting,” said Brown.

She said she was happy Memphis officers seem to be more present at the intersection, allowing for a safer walk for her and her neighbors.

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