Bommarito Automotive SkyFOX Helicopter – Protesters gather in the southwest corner of Forest Park

Violence, protests have South Grand residents and businesses on edge

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-The violence and protesting on S. Grand Boulevard is keeping homeowners awake and worried and business owners on edge.

Gary Knapp, who lives in the area of south St. Louis with his wife and children, says, "Last night it kind of feels like we're a little bit under siege we hope it doesn't continue."

More coverage: Police, protesters clash in south city; 8 arrests made

City Diner is a good place to gauge the pulse of people. The diner has been a part of the South Grand scene for more than two decades. Peter Spoto is the owner. He said the protesting has customers thinking twice about eating here.

"The violence is what's scary and they're calling up seeing if it's safe to come down to this neighborhood. And it's not good for a business owner and the nice neighborhood we have here."

Some people who live nearby are willing to put up with all the commotion, they believe it's for an important cause.

Resident Morris Harris said, "I support the protest but not when it's violent."

City Diner’s Spoto added, "I’m all for peaceful protests. I'm a product of the sixties you know. I did a lot of protesting. The violence is not part of the deal."

Still people are nervous.

Knapp said, "I'm peeking out the front window making sure nothing goofy is going on. I'm a little paranoid."

Knapp’s parents are visiting from out of town; they came to see their grandchildren and got caught in the middle of this.

Sherry Knapp said, "It usually ends up being the innocent people are the ones being hurt and that's the scary part."