Binghamton West Residents Want “Trap House” Locked Down
Several dozen people have signed a petition calling on Binghamton officials to take decisive action to deal with ongoing problems at a West Side building.
City police late last month said the property at 34 North Street had been subject to "recent lockdown warnings." That announcement came after a 58-year-old man had been shot in the back on July 26 at the three-story apartment house.
A 19-year-old man who said he lives in the building told WNBF News he had been repeatedly stabbed a few days earlier by an unknown assailant. He said he was treated at Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City for four or five stab wounds.
Alexander Conti, who lives across the street from the apartment house, said the building has become "an increasingly volatile place."
In a petition addressed to Mayor Jared Kraham, Conti wrote that he and other nearby residents are "extremely concerned" about the illicit activities taking place on the property.
The petition describes the building as a "trap house" - a place where illicit drugs are sold and used.
The man who was stabbed in the building last month said he believed there were a few people who were authorized to live there. But, he added, there often were many squatters who entered the place who engaged in various activities. He said "it's been quiet lately."
Mayor Kraham confirmed on Wednesday that the building owner had been warned by the city that the property could be headed for a lockdown if the problems weren't addressed.
The mayor said he understands the frustration of neighborhood residents. He noted the city must follow the law regarding the type of incidents that can be cited for lockdown proceedings to move forward. He said the owner was "not being cooperative."
Property records show the apartment house is owned by a town of Binghamton woman. She could not be reached for comment about the complaints or what steps she may take to deal with the problems.