In a post-COVID19 America where some have been partially locked down for significant periods of time, certain questions should be asked. Among them is this one. Are dangers increasing for management, staff and residents in manufactured home land lease communities? Fox 5 in Atlanta reported on the arrest of “Alberto Ayala without incident by the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office at his girlfriend’s home in Tucker on Thursday. According to warrants, he is wanted for the murder of 34-year-old Everardo Esparza, one of two men killed in the shootout.” The report said Ayala “was arrested in connection to a shooting at a Clayton County mobile home park back in November that killed two people and left two others injured.” In a separate case reported by WBTV 3 in Rowan County, N.C. – one of several in various jurisdictions noted by various media cited further – criminal charges were filed against a manufactured home community resident who forced his way into a woman’s manufactured home and then fired multiple rounds from a gun are one of the possible examples that should be explored. WBTV 3 reported that Donterio Rashard Glaspy, 31, was jailed but released under a $50,000 bond.
By way of background to this issue, in August 14, 2020, MHProNews reported on the grizzly murder of five year old Cannon Hinnant. Cannon’s mother, per local media, said she hoped that the accused killer, Darius Sessoms, “rots in hell.”
Left-leaning Wikipedia says that “On September 22, Aolani Takemi Marie Pettit, 21, of Wilson was also arrested in connection with the case. She was charged with felony accessory after the fact.” A GoFundMe page for Hinnant raised over $766,000.
A different Clayton County, GA murder case involving the death of a 13 year old in a manufactured home community is described in this video posted below.
Yet another Clayton County murder case connected with a manufactured home community is described in the video local news below.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said last year that “enough is enough” with black on black violence. That report is linked below. But as the following report with video reflects, there are alleged white-on-white cases of violence and murder too.
Longtime MHProNews readers may recall this news video about a murder in a Nokomis, FL manufactured home community.
More details on that case are in the related report, linked below. Linda Swigger, the community manager, was purportedly killed by an 82 year old resident that was being evicted.
Framing the Broader MH Community Concerns – Rise in Murder Nationally
To frame the concerns for those who own, manage, work, or live in a manufactured home community, the broader national picture is necessary. The New York Times reported on March 16, 2021 that “Murder Rate Remains Elevated as New Crime Reporting System Begins. … The big increase in the murder rate in the United States in 2020 has carried over to 2021. A sample of 37 cities with data available for the first three months of this year shows murder up 18 percent relative to the same period last year.”
A report in the Intercept dated 2.21.2021 said that “Murders were up at least 15 percent through September in cities of every population group, according to the FBI’s data…” NPR said in January 2021 that murder rates in New York City are up 40 percent. New York City is so dense that the vast majority of that would have no connection with manufactured home community living.
So, with deadly crimes up, it may not be a surprise that it may be up in pre-HUD Code mobile home parks or manufactured home land-lease communities.
Previous university level research on that topic indicates that manufactured home community living is as safe or safer as other neighborhoods. That is often true even when conventional housing neighborhoods may be far more costly.
But that does not change the perception that exists and which ought to be challenged. Two public comments posted on the Nakomis murder of the community manager’s video above helps frame that concern. “Trailer parks are full of Drama and violence,” said “Eli.” “I think this is the second serious problem in a trailer court in Nokomis this year,” said “Joyful One” who added “I think police shot and killed a guy the previous time!”
Back to a Recent Headline Report…More Information, MHProNews Analysis and Commentary
Donterio Rashard Glaspy was jailed after deputies say he fired shots at a woman in and “at her home in a mobile home park in Kannapolis,” said WBTV 3.
According to their report, county deputies were called to “a mobile home park on Canyon Lane just before midnight to check out several reports of shots being fired.”
“Glaspy came out of his home when [the deputies]…arrived, but refused to step down from the porch. Deputies had to force Glaspy to the ground so that he could be handcuffed and taken into custody.”
WBTV 3 also said that Glaspy’s roommate told deputies Glaspy earlier had walked out of the front door of their manufactured home and walked up the driveway. The roommate said he heard several shots fired a few minutes later. After Glaspy came back he started “heating up some food.”
The female victim, a 35-year-old neighbor, said that Glaspy had come to her home and started beating on the door. He told the woman to let him in and threatened to shoot her. The neighbor told Glaspy “you won’t do s***.” Apparently angered, Glaspy pushed his way in through the door and fired a shot that narrowly missed the woman’s head. The bullet lodged in the wall of her kitchen.
Somehow the woman managed to push Glaspy out the door. He fired 2-3 more shots in the yard. When deputies searched Glaspy’s home, they say they found 8 ounces of marijuana, a smoking pipe, and 14 Xanax tablets. Glaspy was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, breaking and entering, drug possession, marijuana possession, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, and resisting officers. Bond was set at $50,000.
Other prior reports – such as a superior court pre-trail calendar – indicated that Glaspy has a record that includes cocaine possession. A bail bond website says that he served 8 months and 24 days on felony breaking and entering (B&E) charges that dated back to 2012.
Once upon a time, potential residents with a criminal history could be readily declined residency when manufactured home community management did background checks. Depending on the jurisdiction, that is not as easy as it once was. That too is an issue that trade associations – as well as larger community operators – ought to be exploring. What are the steps being taken to protect the staff and other residents through advocacy and/or training?
The screen captures above and below tell part of the sobering tale.
The questions and concerns are many. These are arguably one more among many reasons why independents in the community, retail, and other non-production firms should be exploring and founding a new post-production trade organization.
When asked, MHI and their inside/outside counsel have routinely declined comments on reports like the one linked below.
Given the state of litigation in America today, will it be any surprise if at some point a plaintiff’s attorney, working on contingency, sues one or more manufactured home community owners for failing to properly care for their staff and/or residents?
To learn more, see the related reports. Until the status quo is challenged, expect more of the same.
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By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing.
For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
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