INDIANAPOLIS — A resident of Lugar Towers is suing for being forced to live in “filthy conditions” where it is alleged feces and urine have remained in the stairwells for months. Residents have also sued due to the withdrawal of security at the facility that has called the police a reported 2,000 times for an array of crimes over three years.
Resident Sandra Barnes of Lugar Towers in downtown Indianapolis is suing the Indianapolis Housing Agency, Lugar LP, and the Bradley Company for Breach of Lease, Breach of Warranty, Breach of Covenant for Quiet Enjoyment, and Breach of Settlement Agreement.
In the lawsuit, Barnes states, “The neglect of Lugar Tower’s landlords also forced the residents to try to survive in a perpetually violent environment that included multiple shootings and stabbings and a refusal by their landlords to make their apartment doors safe from repeated break-ins.”
In the past three years, residents have reportedly called the police exactly 2,000 times from Jan. 2021 – Sept. 2023. Officers have been called out to the Lugar Towers for rape, death investigation, missing person, fraud investigation, harassment, domestic disturbance, shots fired, burglary, motor vehicle theft, overdose, stolen vehicle and assault, among several other things.
Residents previously sued Lugar Towers, but the lawsuit was made into an enforceable Settlement Agreement on Nov. 2 due to improved conditions and promises made by the landlord including, “a reasonable security presence.” However, just one day after the judge dismissed the lawsuit, on Nov. 3, Lugar Tower residents learned that weekday security would be pulled.
Daytime security is not provided to residents from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday – Friday. The security has reportedly not been in the building since Monday, Nov 6. The suit claims that during daytime hours dead bodies have been found, burglaries have occurred and multiple reports of assaults.
Exactly 15 residents have filed formal complaints stating, “I am a resident of Lugar Tower, 901 Fort Wayne Avenue, Indianapolis, IN. I am very concerned about the sudden, recent withdrawal of a security presence in the building during the daytime hours. Our building has a long record of criminal activity during that daytime period and we fear the consequences of not being protected by professional security.”
“For our organizations, it is viewed as egregious for the Indianapolis Housing Agency (IHA) to have not addressed the conditions of the facility and chosen to withdraw security from the building,” said the Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis and the Baptist Minister’s Alliance in a combined statement.
“To leave residents who are seniors or living with disabilities in danger is deeply disturbing that the leadership of IHA will not continue to provide the minimal step of full-time security for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”
This story will be updated as information becomes available.