Marlo Ruttan scoffs at any suggestion he lives in a quiet neighbourhood.
“It’s by no means a quiet neighbourhood. We want our neighbourhood back.”
Only a short distance from Ruttan’s Inglewood home, Brandon Prevey was gunned down as he sat in his vehicle about 3 a.m. Sunday.
“We knew it was going to happen,” he said. “We told (police) something was going to happen. Crime, drugs, prostitution, it all works up to what? The final end: murder. Someone’s going to die.
“They’re lucky it wasn’t somebody else — like a kid that got shot or hit by a stray bullet.”
Ruttan has lived in his Imbeau Close house since 2006.
He has tended his property with care.
In the summer, his backyard pond spanned by a small wooden bridge is stocked with koi and he can relax to the sounds of his waterfall.
But on the other side of his fence, the seedy world of drugs, and even prostitution, intrudes.
Vehicles routinely park in the alley behind his home so their occupants can scurry through another yard to a drug house on nearby Ibbotson Close. He points to the worn path they take.
Ruttan says that out of that house come drug-addled men and women, who make their way back to the alley. Some of the women engage in sexual acts to get money for drugs.
In the neighbourhood playground, fist fights have broken out in the early hours and unsavoury-looking characters frequently lounge about.
For two years, this scene has been repeated countless times, and Ruttan is sick of it.
He’s gone to City Hall twice and complained over and over again to the RCMP. But so far nothing has been done. The drug house is still there.
Police sometimes do show up, but a half hour after they were called when the drug dealers are long gone.
Ten days before Prevey was shot, residents in Ruttan’s neighbourhood had approached police and offered to install video cameras, at their own expense, to track the activity in the alley. They heard nothing back.
In the meantime, residents face the prospect of continuing criminal activity. Ruttan’s motorhome has been broken into and all the electronics ripped out. He rhymes off several other break and enters that have occurred down the alley. Another nearby house was the scene of a home invasion a year ago.
Ruttan said the solution to the problem is simple: get rid of the drug house.
“Why would we have that clientele coming here? The only reason is the drug house.
“We need more action from the police to get this house out of here. We’re doing what we can, but we’re not getting the support from them.”
Police themselves are not getting any help from the legal system, he believes. Tougher laws are needed to make it easier for police to crack down on drug houses.
RCMP Supt. Brian Simpson said police have been effective in shutting down drug houses, but there is a process that must be followed.
Residents should not give up and he urged them to continue making calls to police and providing information that can be used to build a case against criminals. The police take all complaints of drug houses or other suspected criminal activity seriously.
“We don’t solve things in an hour like TV. It takes some time.”