Where Does It Stop?

Complaint against 8th-floor Patti

Dear [Manager] Dana,

On Sunday evening around 7:30 I entered the first floor lobby to get the elevator up to my apartment. Patti and the little boy were there. The elevator button had not been pushed and Patti was sitting [in her wheelchair] too close to it for me to reach the button. I said, “Excuse me,” and she began to berate me. She told me that she was first and she was taking the elevator and I couldn’t get on.

[We have only had one elevator for 176 apartments for several months. It was unacceptable that Patti should commandeer the only elevator for her personal use. Myself and other people told her that.]

Jacquie had come out with me. A man also was in the lobby waiting for the elevator. Patti’s yelling was so loud that it drew Tony out of the Community Room. Jacquie clearly told Patti that if she wanted to wait then she could [have the elevator for herself] but she couldn’t keep me off the elevator.

Patti called me “a fucking bitch” and slapped me. Jacquie immediately told Patti she was going to file a complaint against Patti for assaulting me. Patti responded with great derision directed at management. Invoking management authority meant nothing and did not restrain her.

The elevator came and Patti accused me of deliberately running into her. In fact, as the witnesses stated, she backed into me. She boarded the elevator and I followed her [in my wheelchair]far enough to keep the door open, then she stopped suddenly and I bumped into her. Again she accused me of deliberately running into her.

Patti continued to yell at me, despite the man in the lobby trying to talk her down. I boarded the elevator after Patti and she leaned forward and put her face into mine and continued to yell and say scurrilous things to me while we rode up to the eighth floor. The child was crying. Her attempt to comfort him consisted of her telling him what I terrible person I am.

Throughout, I did not get angry, did not raise my voice, did not swear and did not engage in physical aggression.

How many complaints have I filed against Patti? Every time she is within twenty feet of me, she starts harassing and bullying me. She is irrational and out of control; she starts the trouble.

In the Community Room, before the elevator incident, Patti repeatedly and loudly shook a plastic bottle of ice. It was extremely irritating but I completely ignored her. At one point, she deliberately said something about “her freedom” and shook the bottle at me. Jacquie reports that other people in the Community Room were tense and anxious, watching her behavior.

What are you going to do to put a stop to it? If you cannot get her to stop harassing me then I want her evicted. Patti has no right to behave this way in common areas of the building. I refuse to have this tenant continue to curse and strike me when I’m minding my own business.

Please advise by return email what action you will take.

Anne C Woodlen

Good Morning Ms. Woodlen:

I am sorry to hear of the incident that occurred on Sunday evening. My first question to myself was why weren’t the police immediately called upon the assault that you are reporting? No one has the right to assault anyone regardless of their personal feelings and physical violence will not be tolerated. However, given we have received a different version of events from Patti, we are currently trying to interview the witnesses you mentioned so that we can gain a greater perspective of what occurred and to validate the sequence of events. There is apparently one witness who has no relationship with either you or Patti and therefore can provide a statement that has no perceived bias. We are also reviewing the surveillance tapes to see if any of the events were captured on the camera and can provide additional documentation and validation.

As you are probably well aware, it is very difficult to secure an eviction when we are not able to present into court validation or evidence of harassment, intimidation and/or violence when residents do not take the appropriate responsible actions by removing themselves from the situation and calling the police immediately to report the alleged crime. Understandably, Landlord-Tenant courts are reluctant to evict someone when claims of lease violations are not validated through evidence of police or other third party intervention and are based solely on resident complaints, particularly when we have no one willing to appear in court and testify and provide documentation of their testimony.

We expect all our residents to respect each other and provide common courtesies regardless of their personal friendships, likes and/or dislikes of each other. Upon completion of our investigation, please be advised we will take the appropriate action against all parties involved in disrespectful or violent behavior.


Betty Perry, CPM®
Regional Manager – (Region 4)

Dear Ms Perry,

You are apparently unaware of the how the police treat the residents of McCarthy Manor. They denigrate us and refer to use with child-like terms. They dislike being called here and have no desire to help us. Indeed, one resident slapping another is their idea of stupid nonsense and they do not want to be called.

Recently on a weekend, UPS left a carton in front of the apartment of a neighbor whom I knew not to be home. Since the carton needed refrigeration, I took it into my home until it could be properly dispersed on Monday morning. The carton contained $2000 worth of insulin. A policeman came to my home and informed me that I was guilty of malicious mischief and he would be returning in 20 minutes with another policeman and an arrest warrant for me.

When it comes to the elderly and disabled, the Syracuse police are bullies. That is why I did not call them. Should there be any more physical contact from Patti in the future, I will call them. Then I will pursue prosecution of Related for letting a bully continue to harass me.

Anne C Woodlen

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
This entry was posted in disability, HUD-subsidized housing, Poverty, power wheelchairs and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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