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UPDATE: Filthy Conditions Force Renters to Move

By: Brooks Jarosz Email
By: Brooks Jarosz Email

UPDATE 1/7/13 @ 6:50 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- More than one dozen people were told to find a new place to live after the apartment building they were staying in was condemned for disgusting and hazardous living conditions.

Monday was deadline day for those staying at 1411 Jackson St. on Charleston's East End. Many of the renters fear being left out in the cold.

"It's just -- we're all worried," Vicki Jeffers said. "We don't know where we're going to be tonight."

Roaches, filth and barely any heat were found inside several of the apartments, and now the challenge is packing up and moving out.

Renters say their landlord Timothy Stone took their money, but he ended up behind bars. Police say he assaulted an officer with a screwdriver after they responded to complaints at his property.

"We pay our rent and we're going to be out, and I think he should at least put us in something," Jeffers said.

There is a history of violations at the property since 2010 -- even lawsuits and what police say was a place known for drugs, prostitution and traffic.

We found it's Stone's responsibility to find his renters a place, but the Charleston Building Commission is cutting them some slack. The organization is giving them a few extra days, knowing the owner isn't bailing out of his jail cell anytime soon.

The building commission tells WSAZ.com a couple of the landlords have stepped up, offering housing to those displaced -- even waiving a security deposit.

The landlord has been sent a citation letter. Once he receives it, he will have 21 days to fix the problems.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 1/5/13 @ 12:45 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- New details surrounding a landlord under arrest and his building condemned are emerging.

This comes after officers found drugs, dirt and bugs inside Timothy Stone's property on Jackson Street in Charleston Thursday afternoon.

Police say Stone even assaulted an officer with a large screwdriver when they showed up to question him.

That all sparked a WSAZ.com investigation to get answers behind the history of the property and the man who owns it.

NewsChannel 3's Brooks Jarosz saw firsthand the infested walls, busted windows and fire hazards. The downright deplorable conditions was home to nearly 20 people who are now searching for a new place to stay.

The Charleston Building Commission says it was forced to condemn the place. Inspectors say they found 13 critical violations inside.

Timothy Stone has a criminal record including weapons, battery and drug charges, according to court records.

Police say the home is known for drugs and prostitution, something the city wants to put a stop to.

WSAZ.com sat, waited and saw traffic going in and coming out of the lower apartments at all hours. We dug up lawsuits including one where a tenant called out the dealers, addicts and alcoholics and above all, the unsafe living conditions.

In the lawsuit, the woman says she was threatened, harassed and intimidated by Stone and his friends. She says she was told to not call police.

Police told us they've responded more than 1,000 times to that address in the last couple of years.

WSAZ.com found landlord Timothy Stone later responded to that lawsuit just weeks ago. He said he didn't do any of the things the woman was claiming and accused the woman of calling police several times a day for no reason.

Stone actually has an alternate address in Boone County and it was his late father who was correcting many of the apartment issues, even asking for extensions. Inspectors have been called to the property time and time again since 2010 until now to follow up.

City code states Stone has another 20 days to make all of the corrections. If he doesn't, building inspectors will issue a citation and take him to court. He could be fined up to $500 per violation, per day even.

WSAZ.com was told most of those living in that building have since moved out or made arrangements to live somewhere else.

Stone denied our request for an interview from jail.

Keep clicking WSAZ.com for updates.



UPDATE: 1/3/13 @ 11:45 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A landlord from Charleston is facing serious charges, accused of attacking an officer with a screwdriver.

Timothy Stone, 44, of Charleston, faces battery on a police officer and concealed weapons charges. It happened all after police say his rental property was found with downright deplorable conditions.

Police tell WSAZ.com 15 to 20 people were living at that home in the 4000 block of Jackson Street on Charleston's East End. There are about seven apartments inside.

Officers say they found drugs, dirt and bugs inside but even after those living there say they filed lawsuits and complaints, Thursday afternoon it was the city taking swift action.

WSAZ.com found out in the past couple of years police have responded more than 1,000 times. Officers say it's an apartment known for drugs and prostitution.

"Jackson Street historically has had its problems in a sense going east toward the Capitol," Lieutenant Shawn Williams said. "This right here is the thorn in the side for the police department for the past couple of years so we're hoping to put a stop to that."

The Charleston Building Commission assisted in condemning the property. Those people living there have until Monday to move out.

For one couple with two toddlers and a baby on the way, they're left out in the cold.

"Everybody just paid rent -- everybody in this building is screwed," the couple said. "He's been ripping people off for years."

The blame the landlord for a series of problems and tell WSAZ.com they've filed a civil suit against Stone.

"The drywall gave way and I fell out onto the rafters of the roof of the house," one of them said.

No smoke detectors were inside and some of the apartments have no heating. There are also several busted doors and windows, including a hole in the roof.

"I think he isn't anything but a con-artist that shouldn't be called a landlord," one of the tenants said.

The renters say Stone lived in the basement but when he was confronted by police, officers say he became belligerent and irate -- even pulling out a large screwdriver and hitting one officer in the chest.

Hauled off in handcuffs, Stone was charged with three felonies and cited for the conditions inside.

"Hopefully this will send a message that we're not going to tolerate this in Charleston anymore," Lt. Williams said.

The couple who spoke with WSAZ.com says they've found a new place to stay on Charleston's west side.

No word on what the building commission plans on doing with the condemned property.

Keep clicking WSAZ.com for updates.



ORIGINAL STORY
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A Charleston building that police say is home to drug and prostitution problems has been condemned and its owner arrested after a scuffle with police.

The Charleston Police Department said in a news release Thursday that 44-year-old Timothy Harold Stone pulled out a screwdriver and struggled with an officer. He also had a 10-inch open switchblade knife. He was charged with battery on a police officer, brandishing a weapon and carrying a concealed weapon.

Police say Stone argued with police and inspectors at the East End building.

The Associated Press reports that about 15 to 20 people were living in the building, which inspectors condemned because it was infested with "parasitic insects," had no primary heat source and presented various fire hazards.

It was unclear if Stone had an attorney.


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