Guardian Angels begin patrols in Adams Morgan

The Guardian Angels say they'll be helping with a safety crackdown after a series of violent events in Adams Morgan.

Starting officially tonight through Labor day, on Friday and Saturday nights, the Angels will serve as a police backup, they say.

Right now cops have about eight officers on patrol for 18th street strip. That number could triple, according to merchants who've had meetings with police.

The Guardian Angels are a stopgap to help.

The reason they're here, they say, is that a large numbers of teens, maybe 20-somethings, are hassling merchants and customers late at night. Lots of drinking, fighting, harassing women walking on street, they say.

It's gotten much worse so far this summer.

"If we see fights break out, we will physically go in, take people apart and send people on their way before the fights get any bigger," says John Ayala of the Guardian Angels.