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In-Depth: Brunswick apartment tenants fight against alleged drug activity

Posted at 10:14 PM, Nov 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-10 23:12:10-05

BRUNSWICK, Ohio — Tenants living at the Manhattan Place Apartments in Brunswick are speaking out against what they believe is on-going drug activity at their complex

Residents like Stephanie Morris, who's lived at the property for 14-years, told News 5 both Brunswick and Medina Housing Authority police have responded to the complaints multiple times, but have yet to make an arrest.

“To have a little kid come up to me and try to sell me drugs, and come out and say 'I got anything you need to make you feel good' is something I have never dealt with before," Morris said.

"I have a child and I don’t want to live in that situation, and I shouldn’t have to.”

"The police are in and out, and people are calling the police and stuff, and it’s still going on because these kids don’t care.“

“These dealers continue to approach residents. Laying out on the steps, on the phone, going to speakerphone, three or four o’clock in the morning, people are trying to sleep.”

“I saw them the other day, they were going from door to door, trying to get in, somebody gave them a key and everything, throwing rocks at windows trying to get somebody’s attention, in broad daylight.”

Julie Sawicki said she suffers from PTSD and has lived at the complex for six years.

“Like now I’m shaking because a lot of times I don’t even get to come outside and enjoy the weather because I’m afraid someone is going to approach me,” Sawicki said.

“It’s so frustrating, like so many things that are happening today, you feel like you don’t have any rights.”

Manhattan Place resident John Rimsky said he's hoping police will increase patrols and enforcement at the complex.

“I have guys walking up and down the street that don’t even live here that are allowed to come and go into the buildings," Rimsky said.

“No one wants to stir it all up and do the right thing.”

“I’ve already gotten in the face of some of these guys and told them to get the hell out of here, I will not put up with it.”

Brunswick Council members Anthony Capretta, Nick Hanek, and Joe Delsanter responded to our story and said the issue will be addressed by the council safety committee in the coming days.

“Maybe there could be increased communication, maybe there could be more responsiveness, maybe we could really do a better job," Hanek said.

“I'm very concerned that we are right next to that school over there with this drug dealing going on, and I'm very angry after talking to these residents, that they’re in fear of their lives,” Capretta said.

News 5 contacted the Medina Metropolitan Housing Authority, which runs the property, and asked about safety concerns at the complex.

Executive Director Skip Sipos responded immediately and told News 5 his agency contacted the Brunswick City Manager about the complex and said he's looking into complaints at the property.

Brunswick Police Chief Brian Ohlin told News 5 his department has received drug complaints from residents and said the complaints were turned over to the city Apartment Liaison Program.

Chief Ohlin said he would look further into enforcement at the complex, and encouraged residents to submit anonymous tips to his department or the Medina County Drug Task Force Hotline at 330-725-9181.