Thursday, June 19, 2008

June 19

A woman who is pregnant with twins was shot in a car on N. Mount St. on Tuesday night when a gunman fired at her boyfriend and missed. Also in today's Blotter, a 44-year-old man got whacked on the head after trying to steal some heroin from a teenage dealer.

Bryant Worrell's family continues to dispute the BPD's story of why Worrell was killed in a police-involved shooting.

Murder victim #95 was identified as 18-year old Ronnie Ware Jr.

There was a home invasion / sword attack on Oak Grove Dr. in Baltimore County this morning.

Can you spot the contradiction in this sentence? "Police were searching yesterday for a 16-year-old Baltimore boy who, along with a 14-year-old, escaped Monday night from Victor Cullen Center, a secure facility for juvenile delinquents in Western Maryland."

So is anyone actually surprised that a dude who tracks Bigfoot was busted for drugs?

Seven city staffers subpoenaed in suspected Sheila scandal, and Dan decides Dixon's dilemma is due to dumb decisions. (Yeah. You try coming up with witty one-liners about the news without resorting to cheap literary tricks. I double dog dare you.)

Of course, there are other stories about Her [Dis]Honor: Examiner, WJZ, WBAL, and MAR's complete coverage of Sheila D..

One of the boys who broke into Calverton Elementary/Middle School last month admitted to assaulting a teacher who was putting in some overtime hours.

Hey! Look! A task force! This one's on prison violence! Shit's totally gonna change now, because nobody fucks with a task force... NOBODY.


John Galt said...

O.K., now we're talking.

It seems that the FBI has rounded up some of the sleezeballs who have been helping incompetent would-be homeowners overinflate the Baltimore real estate market.

So, why is this only a priority after the damage is done?

Baltimore's slogan on bus-stop benches is neither Believe, Get in On It, nor The City that Reads.

It should be Don't sign for it if you cannot afford it.

Maurice Bradbury said...

you know you're in Baltimore when a pregnant woman is shot and that "merits" 129 words in the Blotter! Seems like pregnant women get shot a lot around here-- a quick googling turns up at least six on the blog --Unique Coleman, Ashley Harris, a woman at 2600 Quantico, Jennifer Morelock, Christen Hawkins, Elizabeth Walters.

Maurice Bradbury said...

I guess the number makes statistical sense though, pregnant women are 1.3 percent of the population.

Stewie del Gato said...

Plus they're bigger targets. Oh, was that in bad taste? I guess I'm on the wrong blog for comments in bad taste. Oh, actually...I'm good.

There were a number of shootings last night. Shelia D's full moon theory must have been right.

Fred B. should make every officer work three days before and after the full moon.

Mr. Mephistopheles said...

Nancy Worrell can cry me a river. She's been evicted from two houses as a result of drug nuisance lawsuits filed by the city's housing attorney. Three of her kids (including the "victim" Bryant Worrell) have extensive criminal records. They need to get their sorry asses out of Patterson Park now!

John Galt said...

Those 'drug nuisance' evictions are a colossal waste of time.

AGAIN, they're trying to treat the house as the problem, rather than the behavior of the people within it.

I once sat in District Court through such a case:

the 'family' consisted of about four different siblings all living together in a 14 foot-wide Baltimore rowhouse, PLUS their baby mommas, EACH of whom was about 8 1/2 months pregnant and none of whom struck me as first-timers.

The judge told them they had been required to vacate the nuisance location because of persistent dealing and they presented evidence of havng relocated within the community to another address, so the case was closed.

Yeah, but,... they're still doing the exact same thing down the street and a block over. Much ado about nothing.

The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our [housing], but in our [residents].

Just put them all into jail.

John Galt said...

Contraband ? No!

D'ya think ???

Guys, the CO's are not at all shy about letting it be known what sort of supermarket they're running when you first arrive there. It's extremely common knowledge.

ppatin said...

"The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our [housing], but in our [residents].

Just put them all into jail."

Or sterilize those pieces of human trash.

Sean said...

Please, ppatin, the word we use around here is "douches."

Mr. Mephistopheles said...

"AGAIN, they're trying to treat the house as the problem, rather than the behavior of the people within it."

Not exactly. In many of these cases, the landlords are the problem- mainly because they a don't screen their tenants' criminal backgrounds, b) passively collect rent via the Section 8 program while letting their tenants run amok, or c) are complicit in the illegal activities occurring at these properties. In a drug nuisance suit, the city can require that the landlord evict the nuisance tenants, screen future applicants, and submit the names of future tenants to the housing department.

ppatin said...

"Please, ppatin, the word we use around here is "douches.""

Pardon my insensitive language :)

John Galt said...

#1 In Baltimore City, about 2.08% of the population are pregnant at any one moment, roughly twice the national rate. Like friggin' rabbits.

#2 If the landlord is complicit, ie. an active participant in the drug enterprise, then by all means nail him for drug-dealing.

If not, what do you mean by 'letting them run amok'? Does the landlord have some police power than I'm unaware of? Once the tenant has a rental agreement, the courts will regularly limit landlord's influence to what's contained therein, and he is statutorily prevented from including most covenants on conduct in a Section 8 lease (thank you, Baltimore City legislators).

The landlord is not generally the solution, except perhaps as to nonrenewal of leases because tenants are a pain in everyone's ass. Section 8 should just be killed.

ppatin said...

"Section 8 should just be killed."

Cha-ching! Stop allowing people to freeload and they will be forced to clean up their act.

Mr. Mephistopheles said...

"If not, what do you mean by 'letting them run amok'? Does the landlord have some police power than I'm unaware of?"

I'm referring to landlords who turn a blind eye to their tenants' illegal activities (some of which threaten the safety of their law-abiding neighbors). They can "police" their tenants by including a drug nuisance clause in the lease agreement and be ready to file a breach of lease suit should it be proven that the tenants are engaged in illegal activities.

John Galt said...

True. But a 'drug nuisance clause' which is allowable in a Baltimore City lease will only become operative once the tenants has already been convicted of the specified offense by a court of law.

So,.. again,... it's on the police.

I know you'd like to imagine that there's some magical way for the landlord to make society's miscreants behave, but it isn't so.

Unlawful activity must be enforced by the police. It's just that way. Please stop searching for a means of offloading the burden of Baltimore's lousy population. The only way is to

a) babysit them thoroughly with police, or

b) force them to exit this jurisdiction.

Mr. Mephistopheles said...

"I know you'd like to imagine that there's some magical way for the landlord to make society's miscreants behave, but it isn't so."

I know you're the smartest person in Baltimore City (or at least you think you are), but there's no need for you to be condescending.

Believe it or not, I (along with others in my community association) have worked with landlords in having problem tenants evicted without having gone through the drug nuisance process. Sometimes, a landlord will gladly ask his tenants to leave "voluntarily"- especially if the tenants know there is a chance that the police will soon be at their house with a search warrant.

But what do I know? I'm living in a fantasy world.

John Galt said...

I don't intend to speak down to you.

I do, however, suspect that what you mean is somewhat at odds with the way you're describing it.

Tenants can be persuaded to leave voluntarily: you just let them walk with a pocketful of your money. That is no eviction.

I quite guarantee you that if 1) they're fully paid up and 2) there is no court order placing them in violation of a standard conduct clause, they will not leave voluntarily and the court will not remove them.

What I suspect you're really saying is that the community group threatened to make the landlord miserable, so he made it worth the misbehaving tenant's while ($$) to vacate voluntarily.

That's not an eviction: it's public improvement at private cost and with lots of free riders.

Question: did your community group compensate the 'cooperating' property-owner for whatever he gave the tenant to vacate voluntarily, or did you just expect him to eat it ?

Next, did you compensate the community to which they moved, or did you just free ride, having done nothing to remove the criminals from society ?

The proper corrective measure is to arrest and prosecute them for the misconduct itself and not obfuscate culpability by bringing land tenure into the discussion.

John Galt said...

Bring on the curfew. Maybe some of the parents will finally get it.

Your minor children; your headache.

John Galt said...

Great policy at Parole & Probation.

ppatin said...

Darwinism at work

helix said...


In the interest of "full disclosure" you should indicate that you are a landlord with a history of legal problems related to housing-- as a defendant.

Mr. Mephistopheles said...

I've never suggested that we asked a landlord to bribe his tenants to move. By asking tenants to leave "voluntarily", I am referring to a situation where the landlord knows what the tenants are up to and has basically warned them to move out on their own or face being raided by the cops.

Case in point: We alerted the landlord of a Patterson Park property where it was pretty obvious that the tenants were dealing. The landlord basically said, "Golly gee, I'd like to help you, but my hands are tied unless you can give me evidence to take to court." A few months later, one of the tenants was arrested by undercover cops when he was spotted handing drugs to a driver who pulled up in front of his house. In addition to the dealer resisting arrest, his mom and brother ran out of the house and jumped on the cop's back- which resulted in backup being called in and eventually pepper spraying the three thugs (some cops also inhaled the pepper spray because of the strong winds blowing that night). Since the incident occurred outside of the house, a drug nuisance case could be filed against the tenants. Therefore, the landlord suggested that the tenants leave immediately- unless they wanted the cops raiding the property at a future date.

Mr. Mephistopheles said...

A man was murdered in Remington. According to Casesearch, the victim had an extensive rap sheet and was a defendant in six paternity cases.,0,2454003.story

ppatin said...

"According to Casesearch, the victim had an extensive rap sheet and was a defendant in six paternity cases."

Sounds like he made sure to spread his defective genes before natural selection got him :(

ppatin said...

Mr. Meph:

We also had a house on our block where the tenants were evicted and I'm pretty sure it was thanks to the landlord taking action. I never figured out exactly what was happening there, but there were something like ten people packed in the house and some of them had a bad habit of passing out drunk on the street. I think there might also have been a bit of drug dealing, but I can't say that for sure. Anyways, they're gone now and I'm glad.

Mr. Mephistopheles said...

Since the incident occurred outside of the house, a drug nuisance case could be filed against the tenants.

Correction: I meant to say that a drug nuisance case could not be filed.

helix said...

The patterson park area has seen a lot of section 8 abuse in the late 90's by people who bought more cheap houses than they could manage and then signed up to be a section-8 landlords to reap the benefits of high-rent payments from a beaurocracy that had not caught on to the plummeting prices.

Landlords are often very much enablers of bad behavior. Patterson park was very lucky in the last few years to see many of the problem landlords sell their properties.

ppatin said...

Donta Gregory (the guy who was killed last night) was exceptionally worthless even by Baltimore standards. His rap sheet had more drug charges than I could count, several first & second degree assault cases, possession of a handgun, at least two car theft cases, and to top it all off arson. It's a pity this guy didn't get whacked a loooong time ago.

Mr. Mephistopheles said...

His rap sheet had more drug charges than I could count, several first & second degree assault cases, possession of a handgun, at least two car theft cases, and to top it all off arson.

Most of which were either stetted or nolle prossed. Thanks PJ!

John Galt said...

Mr. Meph:

Sounds like the resolution of the tenant problem worked well.

The tenants may not have known that the landlord had little real ability to initiate a raid.

It's important to understand that in the name of protecting the rights of tenants, the State & City have largely tied the landlord's hands.

For the most part, police officers familiar with the criminal conduct will tell you that they cannot get a warrant based upon infractions outside (without first going through drug nuisance conviction). And the landlord cannot enter (absent Tenant's consent) without a Constable. I'm told it's quite frustrating.

Most landlords I know have found it most expeditious to dispose of problem people by affording them the opportunity to get into arrears and then evict for failure to pay. I had to do so about ten years ago when a single parent with two children in an efficiency unit started hooking out of it. The police wanted nothing at all to do with infractions indoors.

It would be really good if the Landlord/Tenant Law were modified so as to specify prima facie grounds for nuisance termination. The problem that I see is that Baltimore City courts want to bend over backwards for the underprivileged and give everyone a second chance.

No doesn't mean No.

A drug nuisance household on my street (which was owned by the drugdealer occupant) some years ago got three, maybe four second chances. It went on forever and the police department kept telling us that they didn't have the manpower to babysit every drugdealer in Baltimore as much as the Court wanted/needed.

Back before the 'Due Process Revolution', the Landlord and not the Court, was the first arbiter of whether the Tenant was in compliance with whatever conditions the Landlord imposed upon the Tenant at the time of renting.

If the Landlord felt you were behaving improperly, he'd give you notice and then personally set you out when notice expired. You could appeal to a Court, but you had to convince the judge that the Landlord was affirmaively mistaken. Otherwise, the eviction stood.

'Self-help' worked. Landlords had much better control of tenant conduct and persistent problem households were understood to be the reponsibility of the owner

And the courts weren't clogged with a bunch of hoodlums wth nothing better to do than to claim all sorts of rights and entitlements to make everyone else miserable.

Secion 8 is the worst offender and for the life of me, I cannot understand why everyone wants to point the finger at the property owner.

The City of Baltimore has done everything possible to dicourage market rate rental and drive the investor into Section 8, which basically hands the City the reins. When the Section 8 tenant and her illegal occupants and their friends & relatives misbehave, no one goes after the misbehaver; they call the owner.

When the owner reviews his City Housing Authority lease, he finds that behavioral problems have to go through the Section 8 office, which doesn't really want to do anything. They mostly say someone should call the police, who also don't really want to expend manpower on a violator who can duck into the Section 8 household for refuge. I've been told by police officers that there's precious little they can do in the long run while the neighborhood has Section 8.

The Housing Department rep. then countered that 'we are aware of no greater correlation between criminal behavior and Section 8 households than between crime and all other households.' Does this jibe with anyone's experience? No.

There may be some criminally-complicit owner out there, but most are not. Most are forced by the City to either accommodate nasty Section 8 problem people for profit or to forego profit and take it on the chin with a better behaved market-rate rental in a place where decent people are afraid to live but might for cheap.

The solution is to require that Section 8 certificates be withheld in the absence of adequate police/babysitting capacity.

By that standard, Baltimore would clearly have to suspend the program and these people would have to get the hell out of Dodge.

ppatin said...

Section 8 is quite possibly the dumbest government handout program in existence today. Things were better when we packed people who couldn't pay their own way into high-rise projects. At least that kept them away from those of us who don't leech off of the government.

buzoncrime said...

I had read somewhere that the Dixon administration, several months ago, had wanted an ordinance passed requiring city rental properties to accept Section 8--which they don't have to do now. Has anybody else out there any idea what happened to this ill-sighted proposal?

To me that would be akin to saying we're going to make City and Poly and Western new neighborhood high schools, because we need more schools.

By the way, I've been seeing a lot of people on Craigslist saying they have MBQ vouchers, which are apparently like Section 8; anybody know the difference?

Mr. Mephistopheles said...

MBQ = Metropolitan Baltimore Quadel

Mr. Mephistopheles said...

Sorry, the link was cut off: