SACRAMENTO, CA - Fires have left charred walls on the dilapidated apartment complex on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, near Fruitridge Road. The property is across the street from St. Hope Public School's campus where children and their parents have learned to fear the property.
A lawsuit, filed by the City of Sacramento against the property owner, describes scavengers constantly breaking into the building and transients confronting children. During one incident, a transient solicited five elementary school girls and tried to get them to let him take pictures of them. Another time, a naked man was once seen passed out with what appeared to be a meth pipe.
Mariel Sanchez is just one of a number of parents who want to see the apartment complex demolished.
"If it's becoming a problem, and especially if it is affecting the students in any way, whether it's my child or somebody else's child, of course," Sanchez said.
In addition to the obvious eyesore, school officials said one key problem are the transients that gather at the building, then make their way onto school property through gaps in the fence, which the district has had to repeatedly repair.
"It's horrible," St. Hope parent Kelly Crusto said. "They need to get rid of the building, so there's not people around here that could endanger the kids or other people in the community. They need to get rid of it."
News10 tried to contact property owner Maliheh Pakzat, but messages left at her home were not returned. The city received a similar response when the owner failed to appeal an order to fix the property more than a year ago. Now, the city is asking the court to fine the owner up to $50,000 and order her to reimburse the city for the costs of repairs or demolition.
"You expect your child to be safe at school, and of course you want the neighborhood that's surrounding to be safe for them as well," Sanchez said.
If the city is successful with the complaint, it could move to demolish the building within 30 days of a judge's ruling.