Neighbor problems escalate to police chief
Catasauqua resident Don Hunter arrived at the Feb. 6 Catasauqua Borough Council meeting ready for a fight. After years of trouble with the tenants of a neighboring property, Hunter opened the discussion at the meeting with some incendiary remarks.
He was quickly cut off by borough Solicitor Thomas Dinkelacker.
Hunter restarted and explained his situation.
“This has been going on for 14 years,” he said. “The latest is the tenant’s dog in that building attacked my service dog,” he said.
Hunter lives next to a three-family unit at 740 Third St. The property is owned by absentee landlord Akrim Sankari.
Hunter waved a fistful of police reports involving the tenants.
“We have an ordinance on the books that says if a rental gets three violations, they are supposed to be evicted,” he said. “No one is taking any action against them.”
Borough Police Chief Douglas Kish noted the dog attack was a criminal matter.
“We are taking action and want to get this resolved,” he told Hunter. “You need to be patient while we work out the details.”
Hunter was less than pleased.
“I can’t even go out in my own yard. I’m like a prisoner there,” he said. “I have to put up with this while these people get away with violating all the rules?”
Hunter continued his arguments, asking about inspections made by code official.
“There have been three fires in there,” he said. “The landlord didn’t do anything, but all the units passed inspection and got rented again,” he said.
Borough Manager Eugene Goldfeder made a note to coordinate with the borough inspector.
Fire Chief Richard Hertzog said the fire department does not conduct inspections.
“There are probably 15 children on that block,” Hunter pointed out. “These tenants place every one of those kids in jeopardy. The trash and the filth alone are dangerous. We have 13 police reports and calls so far. It isn’t going to end if we don’t do something about the problem.”
Pat Nelson, who is scheduled to move in next door, was at the meeting.
“I have a young child, and I can’t be moving into a dangerous area,” he said.
Kish reassured him that all precautions are being taken.
“If you see anything, I expect you to file a police report,” he said. “We need a paper trail on what is happening over there.”