You've got to be a pretty bad homeowner, allegedly, to have the Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer attempt to wrest basic control of your property from you.
The City Attorney's office today announced that it has filed narcotics and public nuisance abatement lawsuits against the owners of homes in Hollywood and South L.A. that prosecutors say have been havens for drug sellers and users.
Adjacent homes at 5655 and 5657 Lexington Ave. in Hollywood are described by the office as “the epicenter of criminal activity in the neighborhood” and locations where “prostitutes, transients, probationers and parolees can come and go.”
“The Hollywood property is mostly associated with meth dealers, addicts, transients, and prostitutes,” City Attorney's spokesman Frank Mateljan told us today.
Meth is sold on an “ongoing basis” there, and 15 arrests have been connected to the addresses since 2013, prosecutors said in a statement.
Owner David Lester Baxter has been targeted by a lawsuit that seeks to ban drug selling, drug making, or drug storage on the properties. It would evict the current tenants, too. A separate criminal case against Baxter, alleging multiple building code violations, was pending.
The owners of a single family home at 1233 West 52nd St. in South L.A.'s Vermont Square neighborhood were also targeted by the City Attorney. That house is “known as a free-for-all location for the sale and use of PCP and other controlled substances by Crips street gang members for more than a decade,” the office stated.
The nuisance abatement suit describes the location as a “hybrid PCP swap meet and flop house.” There have been at least nine PCP or weapons “incidents” connected to the address, prosecutors said.
The owner was named as Mattie J. Sampson. The suit also names her son, Bobby J. Sampson, Jr., an alleged gang member, who would be booted from the house if the action is successful. The filing also seeks to restrict who else can be on the property.
City Attorney Feuer:
As we've seen today, a single property can endanger an entire neighborhood. Each property owner is responsible for maintaining their stake in our community. If they fail to fulfill that obligation—ignoring criminal activity, for example, that jeopardizes neighborhood safety—my office will hold them accountable.
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