COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A four-unit apartment building where multiple shootings, stabbings, drug overdoses, domestic violence, prostitution and gang activity took place was shuttered on Tuesday by the city attorney.
Zach Klein secured an emergency court order against the residential property on South Burgess Avenue that was the location of more than 80 police runs since September 2019, Klein’s office said in a news release.
Columbus police recently conducted undercover purchases of fentanyl and crack cocaine from the premises, while also recovering three firearms and apprehending a fugitive wanted for murder in separate incidents.
Klein filed a complaint for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief in the Franklin County Environmental Court against the building, which is within walking distance of a family healthcare clinic and pharmacy, the release said.
The current landlord, who resides in California, inherited many of the problems associated with the property when he purchased it sight unseen on May 6, 2021. The landlord boarded up the premises voluntarily and is now under court injunction to maintain the property in compliance with nuisance abatement codes.
According to court documents, Columbus police have responded to the premises for a multitude of incidents in the last two years, including:
- Five burglaries
- Two stabbings
- 24 disturbances
- Two domestic incidents
- Two suicide attempts
- Five gun calls
- Three Shotspotter alerts
- Three drug overdoses
On Oct. 21, 2019, the previous landlord was at the premises when an assailant struck him multiple times with a piece of floor moulding.
On Aug. 29, 2020, officers responded to the premises on a report of an unconscious female found lying naked in the alley. Investigators were told that a resident provided the victim with fentanyl earlier that morning and then “dumped her in the alley” when she began to overdose. The victim later contacted the police to inform them that she believed she also had been a victim of sexual assault.
On Sept. 2, 2021, officers responded to a stabbing and followed a trail of blood that led to the premises. Twelve individuals were found inside one of the apartment units, including the victim, who claimed he had been “stabbed with a crack pipe.”
On Sept. 14, 2021, detectives from the Investigative Tactical Unit executed a search warrant at the premises after previously conducting two covert purchases of fentanyl. During the search warrant, the detectives located eight individuals inside one of the units, including a known gang member. The detectives also recovered a loaded handgun with three live rounds in the magazine, suspected fentanyl, and $953 in cash.
On Sept. 16, 2021, Columbus SWAT officers apprehended an individual with an active murder warrant from the premises.
On Oct. 12, 2021, officers executed another search warrant after conducting a covert purchase of crack cocaine from the premises five days earlier. During the search warrant, the officers recovered a Taurus 709 9mm handgun and a Ruger P95 handgun, the release said.
“The pattern of violence and crime at this property posed an ongoing threat to the area, especially given its location in a dense residential area that is also home to several small businesses,” Assistant City Attorney Zach Gwin said. “We greatly appreciate the court granting the order and want to thank the Columbus Division of Police for their diligent work in helping us build our case.”