City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Tuesday that Los Angeles has filed two nuisance abatement lawsuits against the owners of two San Fernando Valley homes that are alleged epicenters of gang violence.
“Nobody in our city should have to have their homes hit with stray bullets or be concerned that methamphetamine is being sold down the block or that there’s violence erupting in their neighborhoods,” Feuer said. “Nobody should have to reorganize their lives around the schedule of people who are a threat to their community to the extent that they don’t allow their kids to play in the front yard, but that’s the reality for too many Angelenos.”
The city alleges that the first property, at 14697 Plummer St. in Panorama City, is being used by a gang called “Pacoima.” During search warrants at the property, officers have allegedly recovered methamphetamine, Fentanyl, heroin, gear to sell narcotics and guns, including two ghost guns, one of which was an assault rifle.
“The LAPD has twice had to deploy significant resources to this neighborhood, they’ve had to use helicopters at least twice regarding this house in this neighborhood,” according to Feuer, who also said the LAPD has conducted two large-scale pursuits associated with the property, one following a shooting and another for an alleged gang member who was fleeing through the property.
The city’s lawsuit seeks for the property to be declared a public nuisance and for all the tenants to be removed from the location. Feuer said that after the owner, Hovo Stepanian, purchased the property in 2019, “the home quickly gained a reputation in the neighborhood for the sale of drugs and for being a location which was dangerous and a source of potential violence.” Stepanian, who does not live at the home, could not immediately be reached for a statement.
Feuer also announced a lawsuit against Detroit Dumas, the owner of a property at 13285 Corcoran St. in Pacoima. “It’s allegedly a hangout for a violent gang called the `Pacoima Pirus,”’ Feuer said.
Dumas lives in the home with his two adult sons, who have alleged ties to the gang and are allowed to use the home “as a hub for its activity,” according to Feuer.
Dumas did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the allegations in a message left at the home’s phone number.
Feuer said the property was the location of five documented shootings, include drive-by shootings by rival gang members. Two people have allegedly been shot at the location, and bullets have hit cars and homes in the neighborhood, Feuer said.
The city is seeking to have the property declared a public nuisance and wants the two sons to move out and stay at least 1,000 feet away from the property.
“How would anybody who’s watching this feel if this were your neighborhood? That’s why we brought these actions today,” Feuer said.
“We’ve had, especially in recent months, a long overdue and really important conversation in our city about equity, one facet of equity is this: That each neighborhood of our city deserves to feel the same level of safety as the safest neighborhoods in our city.”
Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who represents Pacoima and chairs the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, expressed similar thoughts at Tuesday’s news conference:
“Regardless of what ZIP code you live in, every neighborhood, every family deserves to feel safe in their own community,” she said. “And these efforts to deploy nuisance abatement strategies to help eliminate these challenges, not just repeating sending LAPD out to constantly address the concerns in these neighborhoods, but to help resolve them as part of the shared responsibility that we have, and I’m so grateful for our city attorney’s office for being such an incredible collaborator on this effort.”
The two lawsuits are part of an ongoing effort by Feuer to address neighborhood safety through the city’s nuisance abatement program. During his time as city attorney, the city has filed 151 nuisance abatement actions and secured 313 injunctions.
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