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Tigerland apartment building logs 195 police calls since 2016, declared a nuisance

1 month 4 days 10 hours ago Tuesday, August 18 2020 Aug 18, 2020 August 18, 2020 6:30 PM August 18, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - An apartment building in Tigerland could be forced to shut down or make some serious safety changes after a Baton Rouge judge has deemed the property a nuisance.

District Attorney Hillar Moore filed a petition for injunctive relief and order of abatement against the troubled apartment building and says it's the first time it's come to this. He's urging the building's owner to initiate some safety upgrades.

"Tigerland has been an issue crime-wise for us for several years," Moore said. "Looking at the data, the data just drove us to here."

Since 2016, there have been 195 police calls made to the Sandpiper Apartments in the 4700 block of Tigerland Ave. Those calls include a double-homicide in 2019 and an officer-involved shooting last month, where BRPD executed an arrest warrant but shot the suspect after he pointed a gun at police.

So far this year, there have been 42 incidents where police were called to the 14-unit building. Court documents show that a rape was reported and investigated by Baton Rouge Police in May 2020. In May and again in August 2020, police were dispatched to shots being fired. Other violations at the address include illegal sale, distribution of or possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance.

Work has been put into the area recently, including lighting improvements by Entergy, and Moore's office is working to install more surveillance cameras.

"Our goal is to make this property secure, make it safe, have less calls for service by the police," Moore said.

Since October 2019, Moore says his office has met with building owner Ibrahim Khoder and asked him to make safety improvements. Those improvements include installing surveillance cameras, but they have not been made.

Moore says the high call volume is diverting police attention to calls that should not be happening. It's why he's hoping to work with other property owners in the area to make improvements and would like to tackle hotels and motels where emergency calls are high down the road.

Since the preliminary injunction was issued Tuesday, no illegal activity can happen at the property's address. There's another hearing next week where the judge will make a final decision about whether to close the apartment building or require steps to make safety changes. The court can order the premises close down for five years.

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