Deputy Crushes House

09/15/2011

Deputy gleefully crushes troublesome house?

Link to entire story & photos

By JOSH POLTILOVE | The Tampa Tribune
Published: September 14, 2011

TAMPA --
Hillsborough County Deputy Willie Edom spent two years battling problems caused by the vacant East Tampa house, a haven for prostitutes and drug users.
On Wednesday, Edom put an end to the home at 6219 N. 49th St. He manned a Hyundai excavator, using it to smash the roof and make rubble of the structure.
Deputies and county code enforcement staffers worked together to combat issues at the property. They were on hand Wednesday when Edom demolished it.
"I love it," Edom said while crushing the home and giving a thumbs up. "There's no feeling like it. I feel like a big kid."
In May, deputies, animal services officers and Hillsborough County code enforcement inspectors teamed up for "Operation Clean Sweep" in the Lucy Dell area. The goal was to crack down on crime and clean up eyesores.
Bill Langford, a Hillsborough code enforcement supervisor, said the vacant house at 6219 N. 49th St. was "among the worst of the worst."
Inspectors and deputies boarded the dilapidated structure in May, hauling away debris and litter scattered around the large yard. Among the removed items: a dirty sofa and chair, plastic bins of cups and plates, a battered chest of drawers and a small statue of a rabbit with its ear cracked off.
There was illegally wired electricity and no running water. Stench from a backed-up toilet hung in the air.
Prostitutes had been working out of the house; and crack cocaine, Ecstasy and marijuana had been sold on the property, investigators said.
This morning, 66-year-old neighbor Will Gobble smoked a pipe, mowed his lawn and watched the demolition.
"It's going to be vacant for a long time now," he said.
The home was heading into foreclosure but the bank didn't want the property, investigators said. Whoever buys the property now will have to pay a $4,700 lien plus interest and settle tax issues with the tax collector.
But the blight is gone, deputies said.
Removing the vacant home is going to be great for the neighborhood, sheriff's Maj. J.R. Burton said.
"This will remove the avenue for the opportunity for drugs and prostitution out of this property," Burton said. "Whoever is using it will have to move to a new location. And we'll be right behind them."

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