Neighbors: Mentally-ill man living in vacant home vandalizing North Memphis neighborhood

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A North Memphis neighborhood is on edge after they say a man with a mental illness has vandalized their neighborhood.

Neighbors say a man is living inside a vacant home, and a city code inspector is going to try to get the home boarded up.

"It's been disastrous since he moved here," Yvette Jefferson, who lives on Evergreen Street, said. "I want to see him removed from over here and never to come back."

There is damage to sewers, furniture thrown from homes, and debris all down Evergreen, and all of this was done, neighbors say, by a man with a mental illness who is now living at a home and terrorizing them.

Allen Richardson took WMC Action News 5's Jerry Askin inside the vacant house.

"Jerry, I asked you to come out today because this is a bad situation," Richardson said. "I had this place secluded. He broke the windows out."

Police arrested the man Monday after Richardson said he made threats. He was given an emergency commitment.

The man made himself at home at the vacant house. Inside, his jeans were thrown over the door and even his high school and college diplomas were there.

Neighbors worry he'll hurt others.

"The City of Memphis needs to do something rapidly because I don't want this man's blood on my hands," Richardson said.

The city says they have previously boarded up this home, but vagrants keep forcing their way inside. Jerry Askin learned the city will be sending out an inspector, then reaching out to the homeowners before they secure the home.

City Councilman Joe Brown said he's working to address blight, crime, poverty, and mental health, which he says go hand in hand.

"We need a task force with law enforcement personnel, mental health personnel, and our intervention programs," Brown said.

WMC5 has reached out to the homeowners based in Ft. Myers, Florida, but we've not gotten a call back.

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