Emma Scott Moran
| The Columbus Dispatch
A University District duplex has become the first property to be shut down by the city of Columbus in 2021 following a series of complaints there that include sexual assault, a loud party with underage drinking, and a stolen vehicle.
City Attorney Zach Klein announced Friday that the city had secured a temporary restraining order to board up 298 E. 17th Ave. as a nuisance property based on numerous police calls there since last October
“This emergency order may be the first of the year, but certainly won’t be the last, as we continue to use our legal authority to help protect neighborhoods against violence and crime,” Klein said in a release. “This property was clearly a danger to the surrounding area and we’re grateful the court agreed with us.”
Located east of the Ohio State University campus, it is the first property this year to be shut down by the City Attorney’s office after obtaining court injunctions against 30 drug-related nuisance properties in 2020, according to the release.
The property was evacuated and boarded up by officers from the Columbus Division of Police immediately after the Franklin County Environmental Court granted the motion from Klein’s office for a temporary restraining order.
Court documents show that police have received a series of complaints since last Oct. 6, 2020, when police responded to a call about a loud party there with underage drinking.
The next day, a female reported she was sexually assaulted by a male at the premised and had to punch the male to get away. The male then threatened to shoot her as she fled, police said. Another female reported she was assaulted by a group of females in the rear of the premises, the city attorney’s release said.
Police said that while they were taking reports on those inicidents, an individual, who was later found to have been involved in a fight, crashed his vehicle into a parked car while trying to drive around a police cruiser, the release said.
Other incidents as reported by the city attorney’s office::
- Police received a call Dec. 21 about loud noises coming from the premises.
- On Dec. 27, police responded to a report of a male with a gun at the premises.
- On Jan. 1, a person operating a vehicle while under the influence at the premises.
- On Jan. 2, a call about loud music at the property.
- On Jan. 9, officers responded to several calls regarding gunfire coming from a house party at the premises. Multiple partygoers fled from the residence by jumping through windows. During the investigation, detectives learned that the shooting started outside the residence and may have included two groups of people shooting at each other. Multiple vehicles as well as two residences were struck by gunfire.
“The pattern of violence and crime at this property posed an ongoing threat to the area and a drain on public resources,” said Chassidy Barham, the assistant city attorney assigned to the University District.