Home deemed chronic nuisance for a second time - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Home deemed chronic nuisance for a second time

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Thousands of dollars in fines, police say one home continues to be a chronic nuisance.

The Waterloo home, 520 Elm Street, has been deemed a chronic nuisance property by the city not once, but twice in less than 2 years.

Police say they are called to the home all too often for multiple shootings, weapon violations, noise complaints, and suspicious activity.

Since May of last year, Dorothy Spates the owner of 520 Elm, has racked up a bill for thousands of dollars from the police department. 

That is because, as a chronic nuisance home, the city can bill the homeowner $50 per officer per hour every time they are called to the home by anyone other than the property owner.

 "[Officers] have searched that house so many times with search warrants that if weapons are going to be in that house, they know where they are going to be hidden," said Chief Trelka.

In 2015, police responded to 48 reports in the 500 block of Elm, prompting the first chronic nuisance citation in December of that year.

In March of 2016, the court officially deeming the property a nuisance, but the problem continuing.

Between May and October,  police responded to 11 calls to 520 Elm, including threats and weapons violations.

In July, police raiding the home in connection with the murder of Otavious Brown; four including a Spates charged with murder.

All that leading to another chronic nuisance citation. Homeowner Dorothy Spates racking up a $15,000 bill from police.

This week, Spates failing to appear in court making the second chronic nuisance official.

Spates has written two letters to Chief Trelka calling the problem, a "community problem," accusing Trelka of never looking past her for a suspect and calling him a "piece of work."

The family's attitude towards police made clear in the past. During a 2016 KWWL interview, young children in the home can be seen flipping Trelka off.

Later that year, a young woman yelling at cops searching a parked car across the street from the home, "See if they charge Dorothy Spates with this. It is not on her property."

Chief Trelka saying his officers have received threats while on the job.

"The suspects are telling the officers how they are going to sexually assault the officers' wives or loved ones. That is what we are dealing with in association with that residents," said Trelka.

Since the second citation in November, police have been called to the home nine times that does not include incidents in the area of the home or searches conducted by the investigators related to ongoing investigations.

 Although Dorothy Spates has racked up more than $15,000 in billable hours from the police department, the courts can only fine Spates up to $5,000.

If Spates refuses to pay the fines, it will go against her property taxes.                                                                                          

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