Chris Christie Addresses Recent Violence In AC [POLL]
Less than a week after tourism officials launched a multi-million dollar ad campaign called "Do AC", two Canadian tourists were stabbed to death in Atlantic City in broad daylight.
Governor Christie came to the gaming mecca to kick off the start of the summer season and calm some jittery nerves.
During a press conference on the boardwalk near Resorts casino, Christie unveiled plans for sports betting, highlighted the new attractions coming to the city and talked about the opening of the new $2.4 billion Revel casino.
He then faced some tough questions from reporters about the double-stabbing of two tourists earlier in the week.
"We're never going to try to justify senseless acts of violence that happenned recently..but things are getting better" Christie told the crowd.
"It will not change overnight...but it is getting better and anyone who spends a significant amount of time down here will tell you that its getting better" Christie said.
The woman, Antoinette Pelzer, 44, made her first appearance in court on Tuesday. She reportedly used a 12-inch butcher knife in the attack on the two Toronto women, ages 47 and 80. Her aunt said she suffered from a mental illness.
"I would characterize that woman as a hand grenade with the pin pulled out...and its an unfortunate issue that happens all over the country where people get disconnected from social services and don't get the help they need" said Tom Gilbert, public safety commander for Atlantic City's tourism district.
Gilbert also downplayed yesterday's incident at a nearby charter school where two male students fired a handgun in a school bathroom.
"The reality of it is, these things happen...and just as we are disappointed about the stabbing incident this week, I'm sure they are disappointed about what happened there, but are they closing down, no, you move on."
Parents, meanwhile are outraged.
"We thought this would be the best place for our kids...and it seems like its getting worse" said John, a father of two students at the Oceanside Charter School, where the incident took place.
"Its very scary and parents need to start talking to their kids at home and maybe we wouldn't have some of these situations."