City files nuisance suits against four local apartment complexes, hotels

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov.21, 2013) — The city of Indianapolis filed public nuisance charges Thursday against two Indianapolis apartment complexes and two Indianapolis hotels where hundreds of violations were found.

“It’s unacceptable the way some of these people are living. It’s unacceptable,” said Samantha DeWester, Indianapolis city prosecutor.

Named in the suit are Town and Terrance Condominiums, Oak Tree Apartments, King’s Inn and Best Inn. The suits say the properties have unreasonably consumed city, public and law enforcement resources with over 3,300 police runs and close to 500 Department of Code Enforcement (DCE) and Marion County Public Health Department violations.

“The egregious behavior or lack of inaction by the owners of all of those places is absurd,” said DeWester.

Incidents at the properties include: rape, assault, narcotics, arson, armed robbery, and homicide.

“If they weren’t responding to repeat runs at these locations, they could be out patrolling the streets serving as a deterrent to, for instance, home invasion robberies,” said James Waters, IMPD East District Commander.

He continued: “There are some violent crimes, rapes, robberies and homicides.”

The City is seeking fines and damages as well as demanding that all four properties increase crime prevention techniques and awareness.

“It is clear these property owners have an inability to operate responsible businesses as their properties have become a magnet for criminal activity,” said DeWester. “Through combined efforts with DCE Nuisance Abatement, we will hold these property owners accountable for creating a public nuisance.”

‘They purchase properties that had all of this data, that were not acceptable environments, and they continued to perpetuate these unacceptable environments,” said Adam Baker, spokesperson for the Indianapolis Department of Code Enforcement. He said many of the business owners are fairly new.

“It’s pretty obvious as a business owner what needs to be fixed, and if you don’t do it, we’ll make you do it,” said Dewester.

None of the managers or employees of the businesses agreed to speak with Fox 59.

An attorney representing The King’s Inn did respond in an email. He said his client had not received a copy of the complaint.

He also said, “The King’s Inn vehemently denies any allegation that ‘it has an inability to operate responsible business and that its property has been a magnet for criminal activity.’  My client maintains its innocence as for any assertion that it has created a public nuisance.  Moreover, there has been an ongoing investigation as to whether any code violations have occurred.  We are disappointed that the City Prosecutor has elected to file suit and take this matter to the media while my client has made many efforts to sit down and discuss the matter in the City Prosecutor’s office.”

“Improving the quality of life for our residents by combating nuisance properties and their owners is a priority in our city,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “We will continue to hold negligent property owners responsible for contributing to crime and illegal activity by not maintaining safe and acceptable environments.”

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled in December.

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