Columbus City Attorney shuts down ‘nuisance’ house on city’s west side

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A residence on the west side of Columbus has been boarded up by the city after at least 24 police runs in the last year.

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein announced Monday the home, on the 200 block of West Park Avenue, has been the site of nine domestic violence calls, three accidental drug overdoses, three gun incidents, two stolen vehicles, a stabbing, and a fatality.

Court documents state the home came to the attention of Columbus Police when they began responding to a string of domestic violence and gun calls between July and October of last year.

This is the 17th drug-related nuisance property Klein’s office has taken legal action against this year, and the 12th to be located on the city’s west side.

Monday’s court action comes after a Franklin County Coroner’s report shows overdose deaths on the rise in the county, up 55 percent in the first quarter of this year when compared to the same period last year.

“Amid the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve seen an alarming increase in overdose deaths, here in Franklin County and across the country. It’s important that we continue to fight the drug epidemic too,” said Klein in a statement announcing the action. “The Ohio Senate recently took a crucial step toward reforming our state’s drug sentencing laws. Now, it’s time for the House of Representatives to act so those of us who work in the criminal justice system can focus on helping people struggling with addiction while still aggressively going after drug traffickers and violent criminals.”

Among the calls answer by police at the residence are:

  • On November 7, 2019, police and paramedics responded to the premises on the report of an unresponsive individual.  Attempts to resuscitate the victim were unsuccessful.
  • On January 19, 2020, officers responded to the premises on the report of a stabbing, with the caller purportedly being stabbed in the stomach.
  • On March 22, 2020, an individual leaving the premises was found to be in possession of a handgun and 102 grams of methamphetamine.  The individual also had multiple outstanding arrest warrants.
  • On April 22, 2020, a drug overdose victim was administered two doses of naloxone and transported to a local hospital for treatment. On May 7, 2020, police and paramedics once again responded to the premises due to a drug overdose.
  • On June 13, 2020, police recovered a stolen vehicle from the premises.

“Seventy percent of our drug-related nuisance cases this year have been located on the west side—and this property in particular is in one of the hot zones for opiate overdoses in the city,” said Assistant City Attorney Zach Gwin in a statment.  “We greatly appreciate the court granting the emergency board-up order and want to thank the Columbus Division of Police patrol officers for their diligent work in helping us build this case.”

A hearing for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against the property owners is scheduled for July 16 at 11 a.m.

If the property is ultimately declared a public nuisance, state law gives the court authority to order the premises shut down for up to one year.

The owners also would be permanently prohibited from “conducting, maintaining, using, occupying, or in any way permitting” a public nuisance anywhere else in Franklin County. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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