Lakeside Tower tenant threatened with eviction after she obtained an order of protection this week against a security guard www.privateofficer.com
WAUKEGAN WI April 15 2012 — A tenant of Lakeside Tower said she was threatened with eviction after she obtained an order of protection this week against a security guard at the building.
Normecha Stiger, 26, said she sought the order after her partner, Raymond Wright 33, was attacked by the guard in front of the couple’s three young children outside the building, at 200 Julian St., at about 10 a.m. Monday.
East Lake Management, the Chicago company that owns Lakeside, said the altercation happened in the context of beefed-up monitoring of comings and goings at the building known as the Towers, which at 13-stories, is a towering presence over downtown Waukegan’s northern rim.
Wright, who works as a forklift driver in Mundelein, said a guard he identified as Felix Vega attacked him from behind, slammed him to the ground and beat him with a “billy club.”
Police were called and talked to both men, but no arrest was made.
Stiger said building manager Linda Phillips and Phillips’ boss, Jane Hunter, threatened to have her evicted by Monday if she did not get the order “dropped.”
“They know we don’t have anywhere else to go,” said Stiger, mother to children ages 4, 2 and 2 months, who said she’s lived at the Towers for eight months and recently signed a new lease.
Eileen Rhodes, vice president of East Lake Management, said Wright, who is not a leaseholder at the Towers, did not properly buzz into the building and that the security guard escorted him outside after he refused to leave.
“He did not use any undue violence or force or try to hurt him at all,” said Rhodes, who added that she had “no direct knowledge” of an order of protection. She also said that Stiger had reacted negatively to tightened security measures at the building.
Stiger said her problems at the Towers started last winter after she and her sister, who also lives there, were assaulted by Kerwin Murry, a frequent guest, who allegedly sold marijuana to residents.
Murry, 22, is one of two men charged with murder in the Dec. 29 carjacking and shooting death of Carlos Hernandez. He and alleged accomplice Fredrick Smith, 23, both fled to the Towers, where a seven-hour police manhunt ensued. Both men had criminal backgrounds that should have prohibited them from living in federally funded housing.
Stiger said that in a run-in a few weeks before the murder, Murry punched her sister in the face and shoved her to the floor on her stomach. She was seven months pregnant at the time.
“I tried to get him banned from the building,” Stiger said. “He admitted (to Phillips) that he sold weed. And he threatened me later about what he was going to do to me and my kids. I was afraid of him.”
Stiger said Phillips made Murry apologize and told her: ‘What do you want from him? He apologized to you.’”
Phillips, contacted by phone at the Towers on Friday, hung up when asked about the incident.
Rhodes said Stiger’s account about Murry “isn’t consistent with what we know to be true.”
“Management had no information about any incident (involving Murry),” Rhodes said. “We received no incident report from security.”
Stiger, who moved to Waukegan from Texas and spent time in a homeless shelter, cited other problems at the Towers, including bedbugs and a lack of window screens and blinds.
“I have been fighting bedbugs since I moved in,” she said. “My kids are getting bit.” Rhodes countered that East Lake has a strict protocol for bedbugs, that it fumigates every one of the 150 apartments in the Towers once a month and more often if bedbugs are reported.
She also said that screens have been installed and “screwed to every window.”
But Stiger said she can’t get assistance from building management.
“Every time I make a complaint at the office I get in trouble,” she said. “I’ve learned I have to keep my mouth shut.”