INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The city of Indianapolis has filed suit against five apartment complexes and one property owner, because of health and safety problems.The lawsuit details deteriorating conditions such as broken windows, trash scattered through the lawns, broken lights and even an infestation of Canadian geese. The city wants the property owners to pay damages and start fixing up the properties.
“We work with property owners every day to provide them the necessary tools and support they need to bring them into compliance. At times, it reaches an unfortunate step,” said Adam Baker with the Department of Code Enforcement.
City Prosecutor Samantha DeWester says the apartments are unacceptable, and police say they’ve become a hotspot for crime. There have been more than 3,900 police runs, 450 fire and medical runs, 80 Animal Care and Control cases and 900 code violations at the properties since 2009.
“Having housing conditions of squalor, where it attracts tons of crime daily police runs, homicides, very violent crime, drug activity, is not acceptable,” said DeWester.
Adam Baker, with the Department of Code Enforcement, says the complexes have become a drain on the city’s resources. Police officers are spending so much time responding to calls at the apartments that they can’t patrol other areas of the city.
“You’re looking at the number of police runs, the number of fire department and medical runs. When we talk about ambulance services alone, when an ambulance costs upwards of $1,000, per run, that can get pretty expensive. When you have a property that’s continuing to have these sort of runs every time–that’s just a complete, unnecessary drain on public resources,” said Baker.
IMPD Lieutenant Christopher Bailey said the persistent crime on the properties is frustrating.
“We know that there are very a small percentage of the population commit crimes, and they’re in very small portions of the city where crime occur. That’s why we focus on the people, places and activity that contribute to crime, the fear of crime and the quality of life in certain areas,” said Bailey.
Tenants of Warren Harbor, near 21st and Post Road, told 24-Hour News 8 they’ve been trying to get maintenance work taken care of for months now. Several said they worry about their safety and children’s safety in the area.
The city filed nuisance suits against the following:
- Aspen Village Apartments
- Carmel Creek Apartments
- Harmony Park Place Apartments
- Lake Marina Apartments
- Warren Harbor Apartments
- Property owner David Garden