My intention isn’t to make this blog a soapbox for myself, but over the last few days I’ve been shocked at how gloriously the police and security can mishandle situations, if not endanger people. This is a message I sent to my apartment complex on the 19th regarding a pretty scary event.
This is Matthew and Amy from room *** and I’m calling to inform you of the events of Sunday, January 19, 2014. At about 7:15 PM, a man in the apartment below us began hollering, sounding like he was having a domestic dispute with a woman. His voice was quite loud and we could hear him rather clearly, cursing and getting riled up. We decided make a noise complaint to cool the fight (either she was in the room and she was quieter than him or it was on the phone, but we didn’t want to risk anyone getting hurt).
About ten minutes after we make the call, he began pounding on his ceiling, our floor, saying, “You fucking whore! Calling security on me! I’m fucking coming for you!” He was pounding from different portions of the floor, making similar threats, pushing the limits of how loud he could yell. After several moments of that, I called the police department (it sounded like someone else had called and the police were already on their way) and, at that point, the man was pounding on our door, repeating he was going to “fucking get us” at the top of his lungs. He went back into his place when the police pulled up.
Then the police showed up and knocked on his door. He refused to answer for the police, even though they said they saw him in there. He turned off the lights and hid. A good five officers showed up and the police attempted to get a key, but none was available. They were shining lights into his place and he was peering out the blinds, refusing to cooperate. Then, at our request, the police stayed by our sides as we loaded some supplies into the car to stay elsewhere for the night. As soon as we were safe, we saw some of the officers leave, but are unsure how long their apartment was monitored after the matter.
As it is, we’re afraid to return to our own apartment and won’t be entering again without some kind of outside person (officer) in case an attack does happen, and we thoroughly expect some kind of vandalism or retaliation, because there are fights downstairs at least once a week (sometimes physical) and noise disturbances every other day. It is very clearly because the tenants are either drunk or high (the smell is quite regular). Their behavior has been erratic at best.
The officer who led us to the car had a badge reading B. Bligh and he said he’d be giving the complex a police report, advising the people in *** be evicted. It’s obviously not our call, but if the neighbors in *** aren’t evicted, we’d like to leave sooner rather than later. Some kind of action is clearly in order when the tenant below has stated he wishes to break in and physically harm us. Please keep us in the loop, as we will not be staying in our apartment until the situation has been resolved.
Matthew S. Surprenant
Now, a few days have passed and we’ve only returned to grab a few possessions, worried we’ll be attacked going up the stairs to our home. Our landlord has simply talked to the people downstairs, said they seemed sorry and decided we just need to “take it a a good sign and think positive.” I told her they are a security threat she’s choosing to ignore. Her reply? “The complex is not responsible for your safety. Any security we offer is a courtesy.”
The fact of the matter is the officer they had at the complex, when we reported possible violent behavior TOLD the perpetrator who made the call and opened us to attack. We’ve reported drunk and beligerent people before and heard them do it. In this case, they clearly knew the person who made the call was female and directly above them. Good going, police. Of course, they deny it and, despite the direct correlation between events, our landlord calls it “speculation.” No one came forward to back up what happened…although, one neighbor was mad at us for reporting them and making the person terrorizing us more aggressive, making them uneasy.
Another element is, at least according to our landlord, the police would’ve had to have waited ten minutes for a key. They didn’t stay to even speak to the attacker who was evading them. Furthermore, it’d been written up as an “unusual noise disturbance.” That was it.
So, we’ve talked to the complex and said we want them to give us a different room for our safety. They said it’d cost $1,600 for them to allow it. Cancelling out will incur an even larger fee.
The point is the police put us in danger and then allowed the person to get away without even being spoken to, even with him evading them. We aren’t able to stay in our apartment because we’ve heard accounts of him pounding and screaming to harass us since, but he doesn’t know we aren’t in there.
In short, we’re out a place we still have to pay for due to the misconduct of the police and our complex’s management.
Given the fact the typical American pays 40% of their income into taxes (since income, sales and services are all taxed), we’re feeling pretty violated by this great land of ours.