Hamilton crack house 'business as usual' after police raid

Four days after police said a "problematic web of drug activities was extinguished" at a Hamilton house, neighbours say it's business as usual at what many refer to as the crack house.

Residents remain concerned after police raided Wellington Street house last week

The house on the right, known as a crack house in the neighbourhood, sits a few metres away from an apartment complex. Neighbours remain concerned after a police raid last week that saw four people arrested in the house for drug-related offences. (Sunnie Huang/CBC)

Four days after police said a "problematic web of drug activities was extinguished" at a Hamilton house, residents of a nearby apartment say it's business as usual at what many refer to as the crack house.

The neighbours told CBC Hamilton that police cruisers were back at the house on Wellington Street Monday morning, along with an ambulance.

Last week's drug raid —which led to the arrest of four people at the house — brought the residents of the apartment block beside it  and other community members such relief that local residents came out and applauded the police offices. But one neighbour says her relief was short-lived.

"We had like eight hours of quietness, now it's business as usual," said the neighbour who identified herself as Ruth. She did not want her last name used.

Hamilton Police confirmed that an ambulance responded to a medical call at the house Monday morning and a male was taken to the hospital, but they did not release any other details citing patient confidentiality.

The medical call was not related to last week's drug raid, police say.

Thursday's drug raid came after police received "a rash of citizen complaints," according to a media release. Four people were arrested on drug-related offences and escorted out of the house.

Three people – two men aged 48 and 55 and a women aged 51 — were charged with cocaine-related offences.

Gunman sighting

"It's about time," Ruth told CBC Hamilton, adding that suspicious activities — such as late-night visitors, yelling noise, and discarded needles — have been going on for a while.

Since moving to her apartment last July, Ruth said she has grown used to the police cruisers that show up at the house on a regular basis and she doesn't feel safe having her one-year-old grandson over.

"I don't take him out to play," she said.

Ruth is one of the tenants of the three rental apartment buildings next to the house. The rental complex has about 200 rental units, many of them are occupied by families, according to residents.

Another tenant of the complex who does not want to give her name said she saw a man with a bandana over his face threatening another man with a gun in front of the house in July while she was walking home late at night. The gunman was accusing the other guy of having slept with his girlfriend, the woman recalled.

"All I'm thinking is, 'Did he see me? Did he see me?'" she told CBC Hamilton.

She returned home, in tears, to her 15-year-old son.

"So I told him, 'I don't ever want you going down that way.'"

Tenant wants to move out

Kurt, an officer with the Hamilton Port Authority and a resident of the complex, said he moved in three months ago and he is already thinking about moving out as soon as possible.

His apartment faces the house and his main concern is that there are people coming and going at all hours of the night.

"They're up all night," he said, adding that yelling can be heard through the windows. "It pisses me off."

He is also withholding his rent because he believes he was deceived about what his rental apartment was like.

Kurt added that he feels bad for young couples who are moving into the neighbourhood.

"They have no idea what they're getting themselves into," he said.

The complex's superintendent expected police would be updating her on Tuesday about the progress of the drug investigation.