"He's lucky they came out of that alive. They could have froze to death out there...," said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.
One landlord from New York wanted to evict his tenants so badly that he ended up kidnapping them and leaving them stranded in a freezing cemetery with no aid. Though he carried out his plan, he was not entirely successful in achieving his goal. Moreover, his actions landed him in some serious trouble as his plan failed to completely materialize.
According to ABC News, Shawn Douglas from Albany was accused of kidnapping his tenants and abandoning them in a cemetery located 30 miles away from the property. As per the police report, two people accused the landlord of threatening them with a gun and abducting them from their house after restraining them with zip ties and covering their faces with pillowcases. The landlord then dumped them in a rural cemetery in the town of Ghent, according to FOX59. The idea could have been that they would no longer be a problem to him, one way or another.
Police say a landlord had a very strange plan to evict some of his tenants.https://t.co/D8LDKQtfJo— KWKT FOX 44 (@KWKTFOX44) February 25, 2021
Luckily, one of the two tenants was able to break free and seek help from a house nearby. As a result, the authorities were informed of the series of events.
"He's lucky they came out of that alive. They could have froze to death out there, whatever the case may be," said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.
Apple informed that Douglas was frustrated with the ban on evictions that is in effect till the 1st of May. However, Apple stated that it was important for Douglas and other landlords to respect the legal system. "My advice to both parties is to be patient. You have to be tolerant. There is a process, I didn't invent it so don't call down to the sheriff's office screaming and yelling like everybody has for the last 12 months," said Apple.
Shawn Douglas was arrested after he allegedly abducted two tenants he was unable to evict due to COVID-19 restrictions. https://t.co/Y7bj9B7flY— HuffPost Women (@HuffPostWomen) February 25, 2021
The sheriff stated that there were several eviction requests piling up. However, he stated that officials were helpless until the lifting of the eviction ban. "We know right now we have upwards of 100 (requests) and we know there's hundreds basically in the filing ready to go at city court, town courts, whatever," said Apple.
Albany police have not released any further information on the case, but more people are expected to be charged. Meanwhile, Douglas has been released out on bail.
The ban on evictions was passed by the New York legislatures to protect those residents who were enduring hardships due to the pandemic. "When the COVID-19 pandemic began, we asked New Yorkers to protect each other by staying at home. As we fight our way through the marathon this pandemic has become, we need to make sure New Yorkers still have homes to provide that protection," said Governor Andrew Cumo after signing the bill, according to NPR.
The ban was thought to be of some relief amid the health crisis that took an emotional, physical and financial toll on thousands across the state.