Mayor considers shutting down another apartment house

Mayor Will Flanagan talks with tenant Ricardo Lopes.

A visit from Fall River police on Thursday was a welcome one for the people of 372 Pine St.

"I think it's about time somebody's done something," said Ricardo Lopes, a tenant.

Lopes said while this is his home, it's only because his criminal record keeps him from moving anywhere else.

"There's always fights. There's a lot of drug activity that as I'm a recovering addict I'm trying to stay away from," Lopes said.

Mayor Will Flanagan is making it his mission to shut down properties like this one, where sanitation is at an extreme low and crime is always climbing.

"We have one shower for 17 apartments," said Ron Levine, another tenant.

Flanagan said he's following a pattern. He shut down a building owned by the same landlord earlier this month on County Street. Those tenants were evicted without warning.

Flanagan said that's because they had proof of prostitution, gangs and illegal firearms on site.

"When we went to County Street, we were on high alert because we believed there were firearms there. You never know if someone will get hurt, shot or killed," Flanagan said.

As for Dave Colville, the landlord, his phone is out of service.

"He hasn't been around for 10 days. I haven't seen him," Levine said.

Colville owes the city $500,000 in back taxes. Flanagan said if they shut this building down, the city will place Lopes and the other tenants in temporary housing.

"I'll believe it when I see it. I've had a lot of promises been made," Lopes said.

Lopes said he just wants to be in a place where he has a shot at staying out of trouble and that 372 Pine St. is as far from that as it gets.