North Hollywood

Trash, Drugs and Prostitutes:Neighbors Irked by RV Dwellers

"I don't want my foot to be jammed with a dirty needle"

North Hollywood residents are up in arms as they say people living in recreational vehicles have tainted their neighborhood with trash, drugs and prostitutes.

Residents in the neighborhood off the bike path on Chandler Boulevard say they are tired of the dozen or so makeshift RVs that have been parked near their homes for months, and they're asking the city to crack down on the problem.

In a clear example of what neighbors say they're dealing with, a surveillance video captured a topless woman wandering the alleyway near where the RVs are parked. Neighbors say she's servicing the RV dwellers.

But neighbor Angela Rinaldo is less concerned about the prostitutes than she is about the drugs. "My safety is at stake here," Rinaldo said. She recently found a needle loaded with heroin near the bike path where all the RVs are parked.

"I don't want my foot to be jammed with a dirty needle and I don't want to have to worry when I walk my dog at nighttime that something's gonna happen to me because there's somebody on some sort of bender," she said.

The people in the RVs are also leaving human waste on the sidewalks and the gutters, neighbor Devon Johnson said. He stays away from the RVs because of what he calls the "unsavory" people living in them.

Dakota Cary, who said he has been living in his box truck for a week because he's out of work and out of luck, said he's following the city law that allows them to park in the area as long as they move every day.

He admitted, however, that there are problems. "We will try to keep it cleaner," he said.

In a statement, Councilman Paul Krekorian said the city is working to address the problem. "Keeping this stretch of the Chandler Bike Path clean, sanitary and safe for families is my priority," he said. "Illegal activity will not be tolerated near public rights of way or in residential neighborhoods."

Capt. Don Graham of the Los Angeles Police Department's North Hollywood division said that they are aware of the problem and that the area is "highly patrolled" by cruisers and Vice Division officers.

Neighbors say they want the city to limit the area to two-hour parking or to at least patrol more frequently to crack down on the drugs and prostitutes.

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