For Oak Hollow Residents, National Night Out Means Much More

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Across the region, neighborhoods took part in the annual National Night Out event. That includes one quiet neighborhood in Bryan that recently made headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Oak Hollow Drive in Bryan: on the surface, a quiet, kind neighborhood that on Tuesday, spent National Night Out out.

"Gives you that chance to meet the neighbors, the ones that you don't know, the ones that you see every six months or less, and catch up with them and their lives and how they're going and how the children are growing," said Andy Isles, a resident on the street.

A few friendly firefighters and polite police officers only help the mood. The event is coordinated in part by local police departments, who go around to each block party to speak with neighbors about crime prevention, and to simply introduce themselves.

"It's kind of the way of neighborhoods banding together and sending that message that criminals are not welcome in their neighborhood, and that they are banded together against any kind of suspicious activity," said Officer Robyn Lewis with Bryan PD.

First responders showing up at National Night Out events is a big deal, both for them and for the neighbors themselves, who unfortunately have seen officers on this street twice too often.

It's on Oak Hollow that two women in their 60s -- Etta Jean Westbrook and Geraldine Lloyd -- were found murdered, with 20-year-old Christian Olsen, who was living on Oak Hollow, accused of both. He remains in the Brazos County Jail. Authorities say he has admitted to the Westbrook murder, but not to Lloyd's. He was living in Lloyd's home when he allegedly killed her and buried her in the backyard.

"We're all like family, and it was very shocking what happened, and very surreal when you walk outside and see crime scene tape everywhere," said Sherrie Curtsinger, who hosted the Oak Hollow block party and lives on the street.

Neighbors say cars streamed down their road in the aftermath, images of murder likely on their mind. However, what Oak Hollow wants you to see is what they are on the surface and in their hearts: quiet and kind.

"I bet it surprised them quite a bit," said Oak Hollow resident Flynn Adcock of those visitors, "and that's the message. We're just a bunch of people living with our families, being nice to each other."

"We invited some new neighbors down here today," Curtsinger added. "In fact, we had a couple of new neighbors, and it gave us a chance to heal a little bit and get back to normal."