Temple Terrace neighborhood says nuisance home is danger to community

Police called to home 42 times in past three years
Posted at 6:12 PM, May 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-26 18:50:31-04

People in one Temple Terrace neighborhood say one home in the community neighborhood is drawing drug use, prostitution and a registered sex offender to the area, making them feel unsafe. Some say they feel like prisoners in their own homes. 

Neighbors say one home on Hibiscus Drive in Temple Terrace is far more than what it seems.

"The average person who would drive down the street in Temple Terrace would never know what's going on there," said Jim Buteyn, a longtime resident.

Buteyn says the house is full of "boarders" who are bringing in drugs, crime and prostitution. Then they got a notice from Temple Terrace police saying a registered sex offender was moving into that same home.

"A lot of us have felt like prisoners in our own homes," said Todd Yorker, a father with two kids who lives down the street.

Yorker says he's fearful to let his kids play outside in their yard for fear they will come into contact with the boarders. He also no longer encourages his kids to visit their friends and neighbors who live near the boarders.

"It feels like a loss, a true loss," Yorker said. "In a way, we mourn for the neighborhood we've grown to love."

Buteyn says one of the scariest problems happened when a boarder, drunkenly walking along the street, passed out in somebody's carport."

"It's things like that that make us feel afraid," he said.

ABC Action News has learned neighbors have called Temple Terrace Police 42 times about the home in the last three years.

There have also been number code enforcement cases reported, including several for loose animals.

Buteyn says bounty hunters also picked up one of the boarders.

"Bounty hunters, in Temple Terrace? On Hibiscus Drive?" he exclaimed.

Buteyn says the neighborhood started taking the reported issues to Temple Terrace City leaders this past fall and haven't gotten much help.

At the most recent Temple Terrace City Council Meeting, City Manager Charles W. Stephenson said the city is working with the owner's family to resolve problems.

"Two of the boarders there that were problematic have since been incarcerated so the problem is kind of solving itself," he told residents at the city council meeting on May 16.

But for now, some neighbors remain concerned.

"We will fight and we're going to fight hard," Buteyn said.