Note, this is a long read. This is about a lot more than a demolition derby and a crime clan. Please take the time to read.
Friday, Dec 12, 2014. I had just settled into bed after playing hockey. Our game started at 10 p.m.- and we left the ice at 11:30. By the time I’m home, gear put up- showered it’s 12:15. I had watched about 15 minutes of TV when I started hearing an engine revving, and things going boom- soon followed by a car alarm going off.
Out the window I see little Brandon Crouch’s “new” Chevy pickup- sitting in my neighbor Marilyn’s front yard- facing my house. Her friend Doyle’s Hyundai Elantra is already sounding its alarm and flashing lights. I try to call 911 from the house phone- and must have misdialed, it wouldn’t connect- I run out the front door in my shorts (it’s 20 degrees out) and take a photo of Brandon’s truck now in the middle of the street- sideways- facing my house and me. He’s crashed Doyle’s car and is in the process of backing up and ramming one of my neighbor John’s VWs.
He then goes forward- ramming Marilyn’s Chevy Blazer that’s in front of my house. I go to open the passenger door, slug the little shit in the face- and pull the keys out of the car. Doyle, in his bathrobe- pulls him out of the truck- and he proceeds to run away from his house toward my office- I give chase and tackle him and hold him down on the pavement where he keeps fighting me- as I try not to kill him.
Doyle and Marilyn gather around- and after holding him squirming on the ground for a couple of minutes he starts to calm down- and is talking about how he got hit in the face with a baseball bat. I’m covered in his blood and freezing my butt off- and am sick of doing a cop’s job. He won’t stay on the ground- but stands up and stays put for a minute or two- before he takes off again. I know who he is- and don’t feel like chasing him again. I call 911 from my cell- Doyle is calling from his house phone- I have to assume others have called- but who knows. People have come from blocks away to survey the carnage.
He had jumped the curb in front of John’s house- hitting the front of one of John’s 4 VWs- doing major damage to the car- then destroying all of John’s incredible wrought iron fence- as well as Marilyn’s fence. He had then rammed Doyle’s Elantra- to get back onto the street. This was the point where I had come out and the story started.
When the cops and the medic showed up- Brandon was gone. The cops asked me why I hadn’t kept him there, as if it’s my job to wrestle with an 18-year-old for 10 minutes while they take their sweet time showing up.
The next morning- when I saw him pull up to the house and go in- I called it in, but he left again before the cops could get here.
I had a busy day- operating on about 4 hours sleep. And in the afternoon I called the Chief of Police and asked for a call back. To date, he’s not called. At around 6- a cop car was sitting on the street- they had just come out of the Crouch house. I asked if they’d arrested him- and got attitude from the cop- after he said he’d talked to Brandon, and it was up to the detectives. He wasn’t going to arrest him, just a traffic ticket. I wanted him arrested and screened for HIV and Hepatitis, the cop said he wouldn’t do that.
Yes, you and I get a traffic ticket for hitting another car- then we stop. We don’t plow through neighbors’ yards- then try to ram our way back to the street. I call and ask to talk to a supervisor- who basically says the same thing- it’s a traffic ticket, that’s all.
Unbelievably, he had insurance, but, that’s not going to replace John’s fence with anything like what was there before. It’s also not going to pay for misery this punk has brought to our block.
I wrote most of this Saturday night and started preparing the rap sheet of the Crouch family from the county’s websites, real estate taxes, purchase dates, criminal records. Doyle and Brandon’s uncle- who has lived on the block for 20 years and is the one Crouch who isn’t a criminal – told a story that goes something like this-
Brandon had bought an expensive video game (system?) for his little brother Cory- and his older brother, Tony Jr., had stolen it and sold it for $50 so he could buy heroin. Tony Jr. has a long list of turns in prison for a year or less for theft, burglary and receiving stolen goods. Brandon took Tony Jr. over to the guys who bought the game- and Brandon wanted to buy it back for $50- they proceeded to beat Brandon with a ball bat (Brandon stands 5’5″ and weighs in at 128; Tony Jr. is much bigger). Then supposedly they jump in the truck to return- “being chased”- and as they turn onto our block, Tony Jr. hits Brandon again in the face- causing him to careen onto the sidewalk after clipping the VW- Tony bails out (no video confirmation of this- his Uncle has all of this on his security system DVR- including our tussle in the street).
Sunday morning I wake up to see a long thread about an arrest of a Crouch. Yep, DPD has Brandon (misspelled “Branden” on the Sheriff’s site) in lock up after there was a dust-up at 629 Oak St.- or nearby. 629 is owned by Christianna Crouch (unbelievably no relation) – and she owes $3,013.07 in back taxes. Oddly- this house has no record of purchase date. She lives on Beatrice.
- CARRYING CONCEALED W
- USING WEAPONS WHILE
- SALE LIQUOR UNDERAGE
Only the liquor charge has a bail at this point of $1,000, the other two are not entered.
There were some posts about gunfire in this area last night as well- but at this point I can’t connect the dots.
Brandon Crouch and his family of criminals entered our lovely neighborhood 18 Aug. of 2008. I had just moved my elderly parents down from Cleveland in June of that year almost directly across the street from their house, 121 Bonner St. The house had been owned by the Bowling family for years- their daughter had married the Crouch kids’ good uncle and lived at 105 Bonner peaceably for years. The Crouch home, 121 Bonner, went into foreclosure and was bought by a Florida investor- who was paying me to maintain the yard that summer. I’d asked him about purchase price and he was evasive.
Turns out he sold it for $14K to Anna Lockhart- the baby momma of Tony Crouch Sr. and parents to a gaggle of kids- including Cory, Dillon, Brandon, Dustin, Tony Jr. and 2 daughters, Casey and Candace- who left the house early- getting hooked up and pregnant.
Anna currently owes $1,864.82 in back taxes on the house.
They were able to buy the house because someone won a judgment in a worker’s comp case. Anna already had a judgment out against her for $85K after her youngest- Cory, burned down 27 McGee Street back in 2004. She was arrested in 2012 for possession of cocaine- but the case was dismissed.
Tony Sr. did an 8-month turn for domestic violence back in 1999. But, generally, other than being drunk and obnoxious, he manages to stay out of trouble and works as a mover when he can.
Can’t say that for the boys.
Tony Crouch Jr. born 24-MAY-87
- BREAKING AND ENTERING (unoccupied structure) 7 Months 17-MAY-06
- ATTEMPTED GRAND THEFT (MOTOR VEHICLE) 7 months each count- 2 counts 17-MAY-06
- BURGLARY 7 Months 17-MAY-06
- BURGLARY (habitation/person present or likely) dismissed 19-NOV-09
- THEFT (2913.71 PROPERTY) 12 Months 24-FEB-10
- THEFT (2913.71 PROPERTY) THEFT (2913.71 PROPERTY)
- RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY ($1000 but less than $7500) 7 Months + 12 Months 02-JAN-13
Dustin Crouch born 12/18/88
- RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY (MV) + ATTEMPTED GRAND THEFT (MOTOR VEHICLE) 9 months 25 Aug 08
- THEFT ($500)(WITHOUT CONSENT) AGGRAVATED ROBBERY (deadly weapon) + ROBBERY (use of force) 10 Months 14 Feb 11
- GRAND THEFT (MOTOR VEHICLE) 7 Months 20 Sept 07
- BURGLARY (occupied structure/person present) + AGGRAVATED ARSON (harm to person) NO BILL 13 Jun 08
- Parole Violation (PV-Robbery) and Petty Theft booking 20 Jan 2015.
And now add Brandon. Note, he’s only been eligible to be in the big boys’ jail booking for a month and a half.
There are still 2 more in the pipeline to enter the system- Dillon and Cory.
Since they’ve moved in, we’ve experienced a crime wave. The police have responded to that house at least 20 calls a year every year (I’ll be collecting the exact reports this week). We’ve had drug overdoses, fights, truancy, searches for Tony Jr. or Dustin the works.
I’ve received the crime stats- in the three years previous to the Crouch’s moving in, one police call;
|Date||Incident Address||Priority||Inc_Dsptch_Code_Desc||Inc Dispo|
|6/3/2008||121 BONNER ST||4||BURG||2|
Note- this was when the house was empty- and someone broke in and stole the copper etc. Might have even been the future homeowners for all we know, since the DPD has a lousy record of catching and prosecuting scrappers.
In the three years after they moved in 49 and counting-
|14-Sep-08||121 BONNER ST||2||911U||1|
|14-Sep-08||121 BONNER ST||4||FT||1|
|15-Sep-08||121 BONNER ST||9||THEFT||1|
|15-Sep-08||121 BONNER ST||6||THEFT||1|
|14-Sep-08||121 BONNER ST||6||THEFT||1|
|21-Sep-08||121 BONNER ST||6||THEFT||1|
|07-Nov-08||121 BONNER ST||4||FT||1|
|07-Nov-08||121 BONNER ST||8||MISC||1|
|07-Nov-08||121 BONNER ST||4||FOUNDJUV||2|
|08-Nov-08||121 BONNER ST||4||FOUNDJUV||1|
|23-Oct-08||121 BONNER ST||4||WANTED||2|
|08-Oct-08||121 BONNER ST||2||DOMVIO||2|
|26-Jan-09||121 BONNER ST||2||DOMVIO||1|
|01-Mar-09||121 BONNER ST||1||DIST||2|
|06-Jun-09||121 BONNER ST||2||DOMVIO||1|
|17-Jun-09||121 BONNER ST||1||OD||1|
|09-Aug-09||121 BONNER ST||1||OD||2|
|16-Sep-09||121 BONNER ST||3||DIST||3|
|20-Aug-09||121 BONNER ST||4||WANTED||1|
|22-Oct-09||121 BONNER ST||2||DOMVIO||1|
|14-Oct-09||121 BONNER ST||4||ASSIST||1|
|14-Jan-10||121 BONNER ST||7||TRANS||1|
|12-Mar-10||121 BONNER ST||1||OD||1|
|16-Jan-10||121 BONNER ST||4||MISSJUV||2|
|11-Jan-10||121 BONNER ST||4||MISSJUV||2|
|12-Jan-10||121 BONNER ST||4||FOUNDJUV||2|
|18-Jan-10||121 BONNER ST||4||MISCINV||1|
|11-Mar-10||121 BONNER ST||4||MALARM||2|
|03-Jun-10||121 BONNER ST||4||FT||1|
|18-Apr-10||121 BONNER ST||4||WANTED||1|
|09-Apr-10||121 BONNER ST||4||WANTED||2|
|11-May-10||121 BONNER ST||4||FT||2|
|24-Jun-10||121 BONNER ST||4||ASSAULT||2|
|10-Apr-10||121 BONNER ST||4||FT||1|
|12-May-10||121 BONNER ST||2||DOMVIO||1|
|12-May-10||121 BONNER ST||4||DWI||3|
|17-May-10||121 BONNER ST||4||DRUGS||2|
|19-May-10||121 BONNER ST||4||MISCINV||1|
|03-Jul-10||121 BONNER ST||4||WANTED||2|
|24-Jul-10||121 BONNER ST||3||FIGHT||1|
|05-Nov-10||121 BONNER ST||6||DWOC||2|
|20-Oct-10||121 BONNER ST||2||911D||1|
|11-Dec-10||121 BONNER ST||4||BURG||N|
|24-Dec-10||121 BONNER ST||1||MEDICP||F|
|30-Dec-10||121 BONNER ST||4||WANTED||L|
|20-Feb-11||121 BONNER ST||3||SC||L|
|09-Mar-11||121 BONNER ST||2||911||N|
|24-Jun-11||121 BONNER ST||2||911||N|
|06-Jul-11||121 BONNER ST||8||MISC||F|
I moved to 113 Bonner on Jan. 28, 1986- the day the first Space Shuttle blew up. In the 22 years before the Crouch Criminal Clan arrived, I’d had my garage broken into once- with very little stolen. A walk board stolen off scaffold at my office. My contractor’s tools stolen out of the cottages that were being rehabbed in 1998 and that was it. Since the Crouches, the house and my office have been broken into, the garage has been broken into twice, and cars on the street broken into repeatedly.
The reason I bought the cottages across the street was to provide a good place for my parents to live- and to get rid of crappy tenants who were also constant problems- but not thieves. From 1998 to 2008, this block was quiet and peaceful. After the arrival of the Couch clan- it’s been hell.
The house next door to them had been bought and rented to UD Law students for a number of years- they were getting broken into regularly. The next tenants, some hearty good people with kids- got sick of the BS after about a year and a half and left. The turning point? A major ruckus ensued when one of the Crouchs’ compatriots- who drives an older red Jeep Cherokee kept drag racing down the street. The tenants asked him to stop- and the Crouch Clan all piled out and threatened to fight the tenant. They left- despite their older kids just renting a house behind them.
The crazy thing was that even Tony Sr. agreed the next day that speed racer was being a jerk, the next day- but, in the mob the day before, was egging the fight on.
Other neighbors live in fear and don’t come out much. They’ve come to think this is the status quo- and that there is nothing they can do. The cops claim that unless prostitution or drugs are being dealt, they can’t nuisance the house. Housing inspection doesn’t cite them for broken windows. Amazingly, they take pretty good care of the front yard, but often do open burns in the backyard- mostly melting plastic off stolen air conditioners to separate the metal from the plastic.
I believe we can take the crime stats, the calls, and the latest fiasco, and file a civil suit against them as a neighborhood. This is the plan of action we will begin to proceed with, if they won’t accept an offer to buy the house on the condition they leave South Park.
The city would be in better shape purchasing and moving them out- considering the cost of the constant police calls and ambulance runs in and out of this house. For all the work the people of South Park have done to improve our properties and make our neighborhood so desirable that our property taxes have gone up, you’d think that they could find the money. They didn’t have any problem pouring millions into Wright Dunbar to achieve less.
The preamble of the Constitution clearly states that the reason we have our government is to:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
It’s time to establish justice and insure domestic tranquility on Bonner Street. This is the first responsibility our city government has- not the tax-seeking behaviors they call “economic development” or “job creation.”
I sent an email to the Mayor, Commissioners Williams and Mims- and haven’t heard back. (note- Mims and Williams reached out on Sunday – still no call from the Chief or the Mayor)
The demolition derby was the last straw. It’s time for peace and safety to return to South Park and to Bonner Street.
To be continued…