Dogwood trees destroyed by upset drug dealer
Windows smashed out by bricks
One such landlord maintains several properties that he has owned for years in the Park Street area. He is a familiar sight to most people in the Seymour Street/ Park Street area. Most people would recognize Stanley Gutt as the guy that can be seen almost every day sweeping in front of his properties, picking up trash or painting and repairing his buildings.
In most circles, Stan would be referred to as a "senior citizen", although I think he probably wouldn't agree with that term. His energy level and his commitment to his properties is probably higher than many people half his age. I have had the privilege of knowing Stan for many years now since I moved back to Hartford and Stan is one of those people that still loves Hartford.
Sunday I think that love for Hartford might have been called into question.
I received a call Sunday morning asking if I could help Stan out with a problem. Apparently one of Stan's properties was the popular location for drug sales. Stan had one of our local drug dealers set up shop in front of his property at 161 Seymour Street. Gutt took the steps that a responsible landlord takes. He notified his Community Service Officer and apparently has a "standing complaint" with the police department.
A standing complaint gives the Police the authority to enforce loitering and other issues on the property without a complainant actually being present to make a complaint. The property at 161 Seymour is well lit at night and clearly posted for "no loitering".
Apparently last week Gutt got fed up with his neighborhood drug dealer that set up shop at 161 Seymour Street. Gutt's drug dealer isn't the only one on the street though, Seymour Street appears to have become a hot spot with numerous dealers doing the hand to hand transactions to the drive up customers all up and down the block.
Gutt's drug dealer , who is not a tenant of the building, had also parked a couple vehicles including a 4x4 off road vehicle in Gutt's parking lot. Gutt asked the dealer to get off his property and remove the vehicle's or else he would tow them off the lot. The drug dealer must have thought Gutt was bluffing, and last week Gutt had the vehicles removed at the drug dealers expense.
The dealer approached Gutt on Friday and said that he wanted to be reimbursed for the towing fees. Gutt refused.
Not surprisingly, on Friday night, Gutt had all 6 tires slashed on his box truck that he uses as his rolling workshop to maintain his properties. The windows in the first floor apartment at 161 Seymour that he was renovating were smashed with bricks and two large dogwood tress that Gutt had planted in front of the property were snapped off..
I know the pride Gutt takes in the appearance of his properties and when I spoke to him Sunday, the hurt clearly came through. We can't allow responsible landlords like Stan to question their commitment to Hartford because of thugs that think they run our neighborhoods.
Stan is out their again this week, cleaning and scrubbing his properties doing what he has done for years , contributing to Hartford's neighborhoods.
The drug dealer has apparently attracted much unwanted scrutiny from others that don't appreciate his business methods and is finding out the hard way that good usually has a way of winning out over evil. Gutt's CSO ( Community Service Officer) for the area, Officer Ghami Perez, is taking notice and working on the issue, the Shooting Task Force seems to be taking interest in the area and I am pretty confident it will not end there..
We need to drive out our slumlords, not the good guys that still love Hartford.