MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A brutal beating has put a new focus on the Five Points area in Myrtle Beach. Business owners are wanting to clean up the area's perception and make it a safer place.
"There's no cameras, no nothing," Brian Malone said. "There's no way to know who did this or why..."
Malone's jaw was broken and other bones in his face were fractured when he was assaulted after leaving a club. He still has no memory of the beating that turned his life upside down, and police have few clues as to who attacked him.
However, just a few days later, a representative with the Five Points Association told WMBF News they saw cameras go up at the corner of Oak and 8th Avenue North.
For years now, revitalizing the business district has been talked about, making it more presentable and safer, but the progress has been slow.
Malone's father wants to make sure no one else has to experience the pain his son now lives with daily.
"That area needs to be cleaned up," Paul Malone said. "The place is a mess...there's been crime there before in that area. It's not just one incident."
It's this perception that business owners are hoping to change. The progress is slow though.
"It's unsafe because of some issues that need to be addressed such as homelessness, drugs...you know those are the people doing the crimes, not the people coming out of the bars," George Kley, who runs St. George, said. "People coming out of the bars are either tourists or locals having a good time."
Business owners WMBF News talked to say they feel safe, but admit there's a lot of work to be done to clean up the area's reputation.
"The evolution in this area has been good," said Andrew Paulussen, who owns House Parts Hardware. "Good things have been happening, and we continue to see things...albeit slowly, but still moving in the right direction. We're happy here. We operate this business here. We own this real estate, and like I said, we're here to stay."
Bill Jones with the Five Points Association says he'd like to see more cameras up in this area and more police presence. He would also like to see a task force created to focus directly on business districts in Myrtle Beach.
For Brian's story though, he has weeks of recovery ahead but says he's just taking day by day.