Manassas Journal Messenger | National Night Out a smash hit

A small crowd gathered at the Potomac Mills mall’s main entrance Tuesday to watch a stranger, who was frustrated at work, whack away at a pane of glass with an aluminum baseball bat.

Again and again.

Shoppers, a day care director, children and even Prince William police looked on as the woman beat the Armor glass — designed to keep burglars from getting into the bottom floor of a home — five times.

The woman was taking part in a demonstration as part of National Night Out, an annual event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch. Prince William police participated in the program and held events at Potomac Mills on Tuesday afternoon, and at Manassas Mall and in the Manassas area’s Irongate community later that night. The events are designed to heighten crime and drug-prevention awareness, and to generate support for local anti-crime initiatives around the country, organizers say.

As part of the National Night Out, residents are encouraged to turn their porch lights on to symbolize unification in fighting crime in their neighborhoods. Tuesday was the 20th annual National Night Out, with thousands of communities participating coast-to-coast.

Ruby Miller, 44, came to the Potomac Mills mall with her children and those she watches in her day care business to teach lessons about how to manage money. They noticed the display out front and saw the woman beat on the tempered glass, which cracked in tens of thousands of pieces, but never came out of the window pane.

And, it was loud. Local businesses were invited to promote community safety, police said. Windows Plus demonstrated the glass.

“It’s very informative,” Miller said of the day’s events. Her children Iesha and Michael, 11 and 16, respectively, looked through a number of the displays.

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