PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A judge has issued a permanent injunction to shut down what neighbors said was a drug nuisance in the Spring Garden section of Pittsburgh’s North Side neighborhood.
But oversight of the property will continue beyond today’s ruling.
“People were fearful to walk down the street, they were fearful to allow their kids to go out and play, and no one should have to live in those conditions,” said Pittsburgh City Solicitor Dan Regan. “And like I said, the goal of the District Attorney and the city was to make this a safer neighborhood, and we believe that today it is a safer neighborhood now that we’ve rid the neighborhood of this property and this problem.”
That, says city officials, is why 901 Constance Street is now boarded up.
Judge David Cashman made permanent a temporary injunction he issued earlier in December that ordered all tenants out and drug activity to end.
During the original hearing a number of city police officers, including Acting Chief Regina McDonald testified that there were 59 calls to the house since 2009.
Of those, 21 involved drugs and 40 percent of the calls involved a drug overdose in or near the property.
Michael Bucaro, as owner could have been subject to jail if the tenants had not been evicted, and the judge told him if he does not comply with future orders he could still be subject to jail.
In the original case, neighbors recorded their testimony in written statements, fearing reprisals.
Many KDKA spoke with Tuesday said they were glad to hear the latest developments, but were still reluctant to speak on camera.
The property could eventually be torn down, depending on how the case proceeds in the next few months.
“Well, I think the message is that we just won’t tolerate this type of activity in the neighborhoods in the city and ultimately throughout the county,” said Regan.
But that’s not the end of it.
The judge will review whether the drug nuisance has been abated over the next month, and he’ll review whether the remaining building is in compliance with building codes in March.