Binghamton West Side “Trap House” Finally Locked Down
Binghamton police and other city workers showed up in force to lock down an apartment building that had been an ongoing source of trouble on the West Side.
For months, people who lived in the neighborhood around the property at 34 North Street had been urging the city to take action following a series of incidents.
Some residents who lived near the apartment building described the place as a "trap house" where people would use drugs and engage in other criminal activity.
A 58-year-old man was shot in the back at the house last July. A 19-year-old man who lived in the building told WNBF News he had been repeatedly stabbed there by a person he didn't know.
City police said lockdown warnings had been issued to the property owners. Property records show the apartment house is owned by members of the Phelps family in the town of Binghamton.
Alexander Conti, who lives near the property, said he is "disgusted that the lockdown took so long." He said the number of squatters forced out of the building - 10 or more - was alarming, particularly since a lockdown notice had been issued weeks ago.
A preliminary hearing on the lockdown case was held in city court late last month. Another hearing has been scheduled for later this month.
Although 34 North Street has been locked down, Conti is concerned that the problems associated with that building are going to crop up nearby. He said the people who had been staying illegally in the North Street house "took their possessions and moved to nearby buildings."
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