City, BGE repair alley light after home invasion

Posted at 5:44 PM, Jun 01, 2016

Three women, two of them older, have been assaulted, murdered or both within just a mile stretch of Park Heights.

The latest victim is frustrated because she feels what happened to her was preventable. 

"I feel like you failed to protect me, because if you answered a call across that yard 40 minutes before, I should never have been put in a situation to be violated 40 minutes later," said 71-year-old Patricia Artis.

She said police were at her neighbor's home almost an hour before the suspect broke into hers to sexually assault and rob her. Artis said he used a dark alley behind her home to hide until officers left, an alley she had complained about for six months.

One street was light burned out, the other covered by overgrown brush giving cover to a criminal element that eventually ended up in her bedroom.

It was a question ABC2 posed to the mayor at her news conference on the 5300 block of Beaufort Avenue yesterday afternoon.

"Again, while we work together, I don't control their repair schedule," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake responded.

The mayor said there are city owned lights and BGE owned lights. The lights in Artis' back alley are owned by BGE.

Still, after that news conference a neighbor reiterated how frustrated they were about the lighting, even routinely asking the neighborhood kids to stay out of there.

"Every time I see them back there, it is just too dangerous, it is just too dangerous,” neighbor Zanetta Stevenson told the mayor and police commissioner, “I just beg y’all, can you all do something about the lights back there?"

Wednesday, the light was fixed. In addition to a Baltimore Police light stand, BGE came out and repaired the burned out light behind Artis' home.

The utility also cut back overgrown brush for another light to better function, which can be a city responsibility. Still, city or BGE, residents here say complaints went unanswered.

BGE said it had no record of an outage from 311 but for its part responded quickly after yesterday's news conference.

"Once we became aware that there was the possibility of some outages, we sent some patrollers around during the day time and also last evening and they were able to identify two lights that were out in the rear of the 5300 block of Beaufort," said BGE spokesperson Justin Mulcahy.

Follow Brian Kuebler on Twitter @BrianfromABC2.