The City Attorney’s Office Wednesday sued the owners of a South Los Angeles apartment building, alleging it is a “crime hub” where LAPD cars have been vandalized with threats to kill officers and where a child jumped out of a window to avoid gunfire.
The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit targets a three-story, 16-unit apartment building in the 100 block of East 120th Street in the Broadway- Manchester neighborhood.
“The property is a crime hub for an active, violent criminal street gang … which is part of a much larger network of … street gangs that ranges through large swaths of the city and county of Los Angeles and beyond,” the suit alleges.
The complaint names as defendants Bharati Mangu Rohit and two companies, Rohit Villas Limited Partnership and Integrated Commuity Builders Inc. The suit asks that the property be declared a public nuisance and that Rohit and representatives of the companies live at the location until the problems are abated.
Representatives for the defendants could not be immediately reached. All three have had ties to the property since the early 1990s, the suit states.
Since 2001, nearly as far back as electronically accessible law enforcement records go, the property has been the location of “an unremitting stream of criminal incidents involving guns, violence and illegal drugs,” the suit states.
A person was shot to death on a nearby sidewalk in 2003 after leaving the building, and in 2016, a child inside one of the units “jumped through his bedroom window to escape incoming gunfire,” the suit says.
Witnesses have said they have seen a gang member on a stairway holding an AK-47 rifle, according to the complaint, which says drug sales “go hand-in- hand with gang presence in many instances.”
On two occasions, including one recent incident, LAPD patrol cars parked in front of the building “have been vandalized, including with graffiti threatening to kill officers, while officers were inside the property handling a call,” the suit says.
Some residents are hostile to officers and loyal to the street gang, even when the LAPD is responding to shootings that put those living there in danger, the suit states