ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s months later and problems with a nightmare neighbor in a northwest Albuquerque community have continued to the point that neighbors are looking to sue not only him but also the city of Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Police Department.
KRQE News 13 first reported in April about a man living on Gold Rush Drive in the Taylor Ranch area.
Back at this time, the couple who shared a duplex wall with that man were moving out of their home, never to return, after months of serious issues with him.
“We feel the need to flee as quickly as we can,” the wife said at the time. “We are fearful for our lives.”
Remaining neighbors recently described the chaos that has ensued as the seasons have changed.
“He’s lit a fire in the front yard that was fairly, fairly high, smashed our trash cans into the back of our cars,” one neighbor said, anonymously. “[He’s been seen] pointing at various houses and saying, ‘I’m gonna get you!'”
But those neighbors say every time police are called, officers apologize because there isn’t much they can do when they don’t witness the crimes. Still, they say APD is called on a weekly basis, if not more.
Now the damage he’s done to his own home is so severe, the city of Albuquerque deemed it uninhabitable a week ago. The man cannot live in it until he fixes it, and he has 12 months from now to do so before the City Council could vote to condemn and bulldoze it.
“Electricity was illegally hooked up to the unit,” Assoc. Planning Dir. Brennon Williams said, adding that none of the other utilities were hooked up at last check.
“The inside of the home has been trashed out, holes in the walls, things of that nature,” Williams said.
Now code enforcement will visit the house on at least a bi-monthly basis, stopping in more often if complaints come in. If they find the man living in the house and not fixing it, he will be kicked out.
“If we’re receiving complaints, we’re going to increase our site visits,” Williams said.
Neighbors say with nowhere else to turn, they plan to sue the man, the owners of the property, the city of Albuquerque and APD.
“The neighborhood, collectively, I mean we’ve only begun to kind of tally in our heads the physical that has been done, very tangible damage to our property,” the anonymous neighbor who lives close to the man, said.
The damage is estimated to be in the thousands of dollars after neighbors say he recently smashed several car windows. They claim he’s also slashed tires in the past.
But beyond the money, these neighbors just want this guy to get the mental health treatment he needs.
“I know the residents of this neighborhood are very caring, decent people and I think what they really want most of all is for him to get help,” that anonymous neighbor said.
Neighbors say the man’s dad, if not both parents, are the property owners.
“They’ve…disclosed to us that they basically purchased the house for their son because they couldn’t deal with him anymore,” the neighbor said. “As long as we’re in hell and they’re not, that’s all good for them. Because that’s really their attitude.”