Judge rules crime-ridden complex in Tigerland is a ‘nuisance'

Updated: Aug. 19, 2020 at 9:26 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A judge has deemed one particular apartment complex in Tigerland is a nuisance.

East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore got involved after a handful of homicides and other crimes at the complex, including a deadly officer-involved shooting in July.

“Cameras never were installed, lighting was never installed, and we just felt that at that point, we had to take action,” said Moore.

Moore says he has had enough, and there has been too much crime at the Sandpiper Apartments on Tigerland Avenue.

One such instance was a double homicide in October of 2019.

“Speaking with the police officers that were there that routinely patrol that area, they just advised me that we’ve been to this location more times than any other where else in Tigerland, and when you’re talking about a location that only has about 14 units and there are around 40 to 50 calls for service a year, that’s a lot. That’s a lot that you’re asking the police to do,” said Moore.

And in July of 2020, there was a deadly officer-involved shooting after a suspect with a violent felony charge allegedly pulled out a weapon.

PREVIOUS STORY>>> Suspect killed in officer-involved shooting in Tigerland was wanted for violent felony; identity released

A judge has declared the property a nuisance, but the DA says there needs to be a better grip on crime throughout all of Tigerland.

“And what my goal is now is to reach out to the owners of the different properties around Tigerland to see if we can come together and see if we can make this the safest place we can make it,” said Moore.

A lot of people who live at the complex did not want to speak on camera, but are hopeful the situation gets resolved soon because they say they have nowhere else to go. The residents have seen their fair share of crime there.

“I wasn’t here when it recently just happened, when the police killing Vincent [suspect in officer-involved shooting]. I wasn’t here, but I was staying here when it happened. I wasn’t home. Put like more of a streetlight up in there and something like that and just clean up in and around there so people don’t think we’re staying in some bandos or something,” said Kevinesha Riley, who has lived at the Sandpiper Apartments since December of 2019.

Meanwhile, someone who lives at a complex nearby says he wouldn’t be upset if it was torn down.

“A lot of crime elements happen there [Sandpiper]. They’ve had murders, a lot of drug deals, but you have that in a lot of areas too, but it wouldn’t be so bad if they tore that down and restructured, rebuilt, made something nicer,” said the man.

Moore hopes to work things out with the various property owners so they don’t have to keep pushing in court, but he says Tigerland needs to be a safe space.

“When kids come to LSU, parents look at Tigerland. Tigerland is a big thing, just like the area adjacent to Southern University. I’m sure those children and those parents want to make sure that that location is safe for their children to learn,” said Moore.

WAFB was told the owner of Sandpiper Apartments is planning on installing security cameras soon, but he did not want to provide a comment due to ongoing litigation.

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