PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A judge has now ordered the eviction of everyone living in a North Side home that has been ruled a nuisance property because of a history of drug activity.
A number of city officials testified in favor of the closure, including Pittsburgh’s chief of police.
The house, located on the North Side’s Spring Garden section, was the subject of a hearing Thursday involving 16 witnesses, ranging from police officers to paramedics to firefighters to first responders.
All had a story about 901 Constance Street.
In all, there have been 59 calls to the house since January of 2009. Twenty-one involving drugs and 40 percent of the calls involving a drug overdose in or near the property.
The testimony of neighbors was read into the record through their affidavits because many feared reprisals and did not want to be identified.
A neighbor KDKA talked to requested the same anonymity.
KDKA’s Harold Hayes: “What concerns have you had about this house?”
Neighbor: “I’m just glad they took immediate action. And now we can rest for a great while.”
One of the witnesses, Acting Police Chief Regina McDonald, testified that in her 35 years on the force, she’d never seen anything like it.
“I think the volume of calls that our public safety units had to respond to – not only police, but fire and EMS – are beyond anything that I’ve ever seen,” said Chief McDonald.
The two defendants who attended the hearing, Donna Pappa, identified as a resident and relative of the owner, and Michael Bucaro, listed in court papers as an owner, had no comment.
But by the end of the hearing Judge David Cashman made it clear that the evidence he heard requires eviction of all who live there.
Judge Cashman issued the temporary injunction today and will have another hearing on New Year’s Eve; and if the residents haven’t been evicted by then, the owners face six months in jail for every day they don’t comply.