SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The murder of 93-year-old Connie Tuori triggered a process to declare Skyline Apartments on James Street in Syracuse a public nuisance, but tenants of the building who spoke at a hearing Monday detailed years of other complaints.
About 20 tenants, neighbors and activists filled the Syracuse Common Council Chambers Monday to put complaints on the record at a public hearing focused on the troubled apartment building.
Gary Lyons, who asked strangers in the hallway to quiet down, remembers being attacked. He said, “Two males rushed me, assaulted me and robbed me. Ten minutes to five in the morning. People are still coming from the same g** damn apartment we’ve been reporting for over a year. The apartment is still occupied, still have drug activity going in and out of apartment.”
“I had a naked man at my door. Not once. Not twice. But three times. He was literally butt naked, down to his socks. He told me he was going to rape me,” Katrina Western recalls.
A round of applause was the result of comments from Sandy Tuori-Bell, the niece of Connie Tuori. She said: “Nuisance is the operative legal term being used today, but that falls short of the deplorable conditions at the Skyline. Any actions taken against Green National will not bring our aunt back or lessen the pain associated with her death. However, we are also here today to support the tenants’ needs for improved, cleaner, and safer conditions at the Syline so another tragedy does not happen.”
The building was where 93-year-old Connie Tuori was living when a woman broke into her apartment unit and killed her, according to Syracuse Police.
The suspect, 23-year-old Victoria Afet, has been charged with Tuori’s murder.
The Skyline Apartments is facing nuisance abatement proceedings by the City of Syracuse for repeated code violations and a litany of arrests of people on the property.
Larry Fuller, another tenant, said: “Let’s have the two Mr. Greens move into one of the apartments for six months and see what’s going on… All I ask is to live in the Skyline in peace and safety.”
The building is owned by Green National, an apartment management company owned by former SU football star Tim Green and his son Troy.
Lawyers for the City of Syracuse and the Skyline Apartments both made opening and closing remarks at the hearing.
The attorney for Skyline and Green did not dispute the comments. His brief statement was: “There are measures underway to address, whenever possible, the removal of residents that are posing continued risks to the population and their guests and the Skyline owners are committed to work with the city to see those measures through.”
The attorney was not willing to answer NewsChannel 9’s questions after the hearing.
Those who couldn’t make the hearing or weren’t willing to speak in public are welcome to submit written complaints.
The mailing address is:
Skyline Apartments Nuisance Abatement Hearing
ATTN: Mayor Ben Walsh
City of Syracuse
233 E. Washington Street
Syracuse, NY 13202
The public hearing officer has 30 days to gather the evidence and submit his recommendations, but it’s up to the Syracuse Police Chief to either impose fines or mandate security improvements.