The Day I Called the Cops on My Apartment Manager
Not Exactly Dragnet, But . . .
This story is true. It really happened, but I have changed names and other identifying information.
Dedicated to the memory of Michael C.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Bullying a Disabled Man
One night the management office left flyers on the doors of tenants in one building --- the one where a man with an invisible (psychiatric) disability lived.
(I don't like the term mental "illness", and I never use it. If you want to know why, or read more, read my Hub on the topic.)
But there were eight buildings in the apartment complex. The flyer was only addressed to the residents of ONE of those eight buildings. Why would that be?
The flyer was only meant to target one particular tenant, maybe? Therefore, the management office only needed to post one flyer in the building that tenant lived.
The flyer said the cops would come to write him a ticket for smoking in his own apartment, or on his own balcony --- which is a part of his leased premises.
A Scary Flyer on the Door one Autumn Evening
One night, as I arrived home, there was a flyer on the door. I live in a complex with eight buildings. Each building has about fifty apartments.
The apartment management folks usually leave flyers in the door to make announcements about parking, or plumbing or electrical work being done. Things like that ---- that affect everybody equally.
"There's no ordinance prohibiting a tenant from smoking in her or his own apartment."
There was a young man in my building who ttook medication for a psych disability.
He was very nice. He smoked a lot. I have a relative who also smokes a lot. My relative liked to go visit this neighbor because they smoked together. In the summer they smoked on the balcony of this young man's apartment.
The flyer said that there were new "non-smoking" rules in our municipality. I'd heard about that, but didn't know exactly what they new rules were.
Then, the flyer went on to say that if tenants smoked on their balconies, the police would come to their apartment and write a ticket. Then, there were some more angry, insulting words. "Smoking is only allowed as long as it doesn't bother anybody, but it has . . ."
Well, that's not what the the lease says. The lease doesn't mention smoking at all.
It seemed to me that this flyer was mostly for the purpose of scaring the disabled man.
For one thing, it was only addressed to one of the buildings --- the one he lived in. What about the other seven buildings?
This young man's medication made him somewhat frightened, as such medications do.
The managers sent this flyer to his building and his building alone because they were trying to frighten him on purpose.
There Is No Such Ordinance
As soon as I had a chance, I emailed the municipality in question asking if there were such an ordinance --- i.e., an ordinance prohibiting smoking in one's own apartment.
I already knew that there could not be such an ordinance, because this would be a private matter, between the tenant and the landlord. The tenant would have to sign a contract agreeing not to smoke in the leased premises, in order for it to be enforceable.
But, that would make it enforceable by the landlord --- not by the police.
Apparently, this new manager didn't know this, though, so I figured I'd have to get it in writing from the municipal clerk's office, in order to show her, in case the issue ever came up again.
So, I did get it in writing from the municipal clerk's office: "There's no ordinance prohibiting a tenant from smoking in her or his own apartment."
Then, they also went ahead and sent me links to the new non-smoking ordinances. These ordinances all referred to public places in the municipality --- hotel lobbies, arenas --- things like that.
But, I just couldn't let it pass unnoticed. It was so contemptuous --- and so dishonest.
Don't Like Bullies -- Who Does?
They were trying to bully a vulnerable, disabled person.
I wrote a bunch of comments --- nothing vulgar or personal, just very blunt --- all over the flyer and put it into the drop box at the management office. (Well, okay. I might have written that the manager was stupid and immature --- which I guess is personal. But, there were legitimate issues, as well.)
I was really scared to place this note into the management's drop box that night. I was so scared, I almost didn't do it.
But, I just couldn't let it pass unnoticed. It was so contemptuous --- and so dishonest.
There are some folks in the complex who never seem to attract the attention of the management, not matter what they do. Loud, drunken parties outside all night, with barbecuing fumes wafting into the windows; ---- sitting in the hallway with laptops plugged in to the hallway outlets; ---- intimidating tenants who are trying to finish their laundry.
Orange Shoes on a Sad Day . . .
The next day was a tragic anniversary in my family. I like to go to weekday Mass when I can, but always on this anniversary.
I have no car. I take the bus to Mass.
I was waiting on the apartment property, but close to the bus stop. I'd never met this manager before.
I was wearing orange shoes. It occurred to me that I'd be readily identifiable in case that manager went on a rampage of some sort --- as the result of my note the previous evening. Perhaps she would ask maintenance to point me out.
Well, that's ridiculous, I thought. Nobody would be that stupid or immature, I thought, laughing at myself for my own paranoia.
. . . About to Become Even Sadder
As I was chuckling at my own paranoia, a young woman approached me and said, "Are you Huntgoddess?"
I said, "Why?"
She said, "I'm Elizabeth Bach."
That was the name that was on the flyer/letter posted the night before.
I said, "Get away from me."
She said, "This is private property."
I said, "Ok, so I'll go over here, where it's public property."
I walked to the bus hut, which was on the public sidewalk, a few feet away. She followed me very closely, like two or three feet away from my face. I asked her to get away from me. She kept really close and refused to separate herself from me.
She loudly shouted, in public, that my guest --- a relative who was waiting with me for the bus, to go to Mass with me --- had been "seen in a drug deal."
But, then she asked him --- in the next breath --- if he would like to apply to live there, for only a $20 application fee. I told my guest not to speak to her, and I told her to get away from me again. She still refused.
I was very upset, and crying.
She laughed. She would not stop laughing. She was like some Harpy from hell. It reminded me of Margaret Hamilton in the movie version of Wizard of Oz.
Margaret Hamilton, in The Wizard of Oz, movie
I said I'd call the police if she didn't get away from me. I thought I was bluffing. But, she told me to go ahead and call them.
As I was speaking with them, she said, "Tell them I'm the manager."
I said, "You're not the manager of the sidewalk."
She said, "Yes, I am."
(I never did figure that one out, but who cares anyway? It's just more evidence that she is not okay.)
I wanted to get away from her, but there was a huge wooded area along the way to the next bus stop. I was afraid she'd jump me in there.
The police dispatcher said to walk to the next bus stop --- while staying on the line with them --- and wait for the police officer down there. The manager was still laughing as I walked away.
There was a McDonald's there. The police car was waiting in the parking lot of Mcd's when we got there.
The officer met me at the next bus stop. The officer made up a report. He said he'd tell her not to contact me except in writing.
In common law, assault is the act of creating apprehension of an imminent harmful or offensive contact with a person.
An assault is carried out by a threat of bodily harm coupled with an apparent, present ability to cause the harm. It is both a crime and a tort and, therefore, may result in either criminal and/or civil liability. Generally, the common law definition is the same in criminal and tort law.— Duhaime Legal Dictionary. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
Proud To Be "White Trash"
The white officer was not really disrespectful towards me, but he seemed to be a little skeptical of my story. He said he "worked with" Ms. Bach before --- regarding guns and drugs. I guess he forgot to say "unlicensed guns" and "non-prescription drugs".
Many folks have a license for their gun and a prescription for their drugs.
I guess the implication there was that my family and I must have something to do with "guns and drugs". Otherwise, Ms. Bach would not have been bothering us.
I assured the police officer that the incident had nothing to do with guns or drugs. It was about cigarettes.
I always have to wonder about a statement like that --- "guns and drugs".
Somehow, white-collar crime never seems to "count" in these analyses, even though white collar crime actually causes more harm and costs more money to society.
(But, I digress.)
As far as I could tell, my very hard-working neighbors were the victims of crime more than the perpetrators. The complex is surrounded by fields and woods. Criminals exploited the darkness and the privacy. My neighbors had a lot of vehicle break-ins.
Just When I Thought It Couldn't Get Any Sadder At All
That evening, there was a 5-day notice on my door.The Notice said somebody was living with me who was not on the lease. But, nobody was living with me except for the other person on the lease --- my son.
But, perhaps that was just another eerie coincidence.
The young disabled man upstairs --- who smoked on his balcony --- had also received a 5-day notice on the same day the flyer about smoking on the balcony came out. (That was the day before I called the cops.) The flyer said an unauthorized person was living with him, as well.
Oddly enough, both 5-day notices were claiming the same individual as an "unauthorized person" living there, on two consecutive days. That person visited me, and that person also visited the other tenant.
The manager tried to get me in trouble with the Section 8 folks in the county housing department, but I explained to them what happened, and they left me alone. This was back in 2008.
She didn't succeed that time in getting my to lose my Section 8 Voucher.
But, then . . .
. . she met a corrupt attorney.
A corrupt attorney can do wonders when you're willing to pay any price to get revenge.
- We Got Evicted on the Day Before Thanksgiving, 2010 - My Pro Se Legal Battle Against Fiduciary Real
Part One of my story of a real estate company's revenge against a poor, single mom, a beginning college student, and two elderly pets.
- Evicted on the Day Before Thanksgiving, Page 2 - My Pro Se Legal Battle Against Fiduciary Real Estat
- Evicted on the Day Before Thanksgiving, Part 3. - My Pro Se Legal Battle Against Fiduciary Real Esta
Saddest of All
She had to wait a couple of years for that --- until November of 2010.
That time she did succeed, because I've (temporarily, I hope) lost my Section 8 as a direct result of her and her attorney's lies. If you want to know more about that, I have a three-part chronology, beginning here on my website. The contents were once in a Hub, but HP said it was "purely personal."
I've had Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher since 1992, when my son was a toddler. My son graduated from college in December of 2015. We were evicted in November of 2010.
I had never had any issues regarding my compliance with the requirements of the program, in all those years.
I've never been behind in my rent, in all the nine years I've lived at the place in question in this Hub. (I was --- unfortunately --- behind in my rent at another apartment, though, but it was before this.)
It was a bunch of young guys who tossed a cigarette up to the balcony where my relative and Mike were smoking.