Controversial activist elected head of strife-torn Curtis Bay association

September 13, 1996|By Joe Mathews | Joe Mathews,SUN STAFF

Frank Lewis, a community and safety activist whose methods have long been controversial, was elected president of the strife-torn Curtis Bay Community Association last night.

In a city with its share of battling neighbors and angry activists, Lewis -- and the neighborhood association -- have stood out as even more ferocious.

Known as the bullhorn-toting head of the community patrol, Lewis detains suspects and chases lawbreakers on his bike or in a white 1982 Ford van with a siren and orange light swirling on top. His tactics have drawn rebukes from the police, but residents say they admire his tactics.

Despite the controversy, Lewis won last night by acclamation. He faced no opposition.

"What happened in the past is the past," he told residents after the vote. "Let's stop the fighting and the bickering."

Some city officials, speaking on condition they not be named, have predicted that Lewis' disputes with the police will hurt the association's ability to lobby the municipal government for what it needs.

This will be Lewis' second go-round as president. He was forced to resign two years ago after he gave turkeys, which had been donated to feed the poor, to community patrol volunteers.

Pub Date: 9/13/96

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