Neighbors demand action from city on landlord after homes are hit with bullets

Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 5:05 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Neighbors are calling on Cedar Rapids to take away one landlord’s ability to rent properties they say are at the center of issues including the scene of repeated gunfire.

The Moundview, Wellington Heights and Bever Park Neighborhood Associations have joined forces, along with Advocates for Social Justice to demand action on the matter.

”I heard a ding kind of on the window across from me, what I didn’t realize is that a bullet had come through the glass window right there, gone above my head, hit the ceiling here, then hit here, then shot across the room and that’s what the ding was on the window,” said David Combs, a neighbor on C Avenue in Moundview.

Combs and Mary Sullivan have avoided spending time in the front of their home ever since a bullet went flying through their living room while they were both inside. They say a home across the street, 1748 C Avenue, has been the center of problems in their neighborhood.

”The shootings that have been happening almost monthly,” Sullivan said.

Another neighbor with multiple children said it’s scary.

”There’s drive-bys during the day, in the middle of the day nobody’s safe in their bed in the back of the house,” Crystal Bozeman told TV-9.

Neighbors believe the common denominator is the landlord of the house, Charles Davisson, whose tenants moved from another home he owns on Bever Avenue that was labeled a nuisance last year. Now, the C Avenue home has also been labeled a nuisance.

”The big fear from Wellington Heights perspective is that this landlord will continue to pattern and simply move these tenants to others of his properties,” said Eric Gutschmidt, President of the Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association.

Davisson’s attorney Peter Riley says his client isn’t the issue.

”My client as soon as he became aware of the problem he took action and met with the city, they set up security and other procedures and they were able to catch the person who we believe was causing whatever problems there were,” said Riley, Attorney at the Tom Riley Law Firm.

Meanwhile neighbors say Davisson has blown them off when they’ve tried to confront him about the property.

”Chuck Davisson knows what’s going on and he’s negligent as far as I’m concerned,” said Bozeman.

Neighbors told us they’re worried someone could get hurt.

”Detroit, New York, Manhattan and Los Angeles and I’ve never, we had to come to Cedar Rapids to get shot at,” Combs said.

The City of Cedar Rapids sent a statement Friday saying, “We take the concerns of the neighborhoods seriously and, at the same time, must provide due process to all affected parties. I trust that you, and others, understand that we need to properly process, evaluate and apply any decisions in a fair and impartial manner in accordance with our Housing Code. We are committed to doing that.”

Copyright 2022 KCRG. All rights reserved.