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Tenant describes living conditions in Jones St. apartment complex

"I had my pepper spray. I held it up like, ‘back off’ and he kept going. It didn’t slow him down."
Posted at 6:24 AM, Apr 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-29 13:34:55-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — For the last few months, KMTV has highlighted the loophole Omaha landlord William Stanek was using to evict tenants despite a federal ban on evictions due to the pandemic.

Through that reporting, six people have come forward with details about the living conditions within the Jones St. apartment complex owned by Stanek.

The most recent tenant to come forward wants to remain anonymous for safety purposes but felt it was important to speak out after she was attacked by strangers in the apartment hallways twice in one week.

“There are a lot of people that are very questionable,” the tenant said. “There is a lot of drug use, sometimes just right out in the open. This guy came out and started getting in my face. I had my pepper spray. I held it up like, ‘back off’ and he kept going. It didn’t slow him down for several seconds. He got several good hits on me.”

In the latest attack, the tenant ended up in the hospital with cuts to the forehead and leg as well as bruises up their arm.

Police records back up the tenant’s claims.

Omaha Police responded to the complex but were unable to find the suspects involved.

This is not the first we’ve heard of drug use in the hallways of this apartment complex. Other tenants we’ve interviewed in the past have told us the main doors are broken, allowing strangers to come and go at their own will. Tenants said Stanek does not keep up the living conditions even after complaints have been made to the City.

Omaha’s Chief City Housing Inspector Scott Lane says 9 out of the 12 apartments in Stanek’s building currently have an open violation case.

The most recent tenant to come forward says they would not be living in this unit if it weren’t for the pandemic.

“With Covid last year, both of my kids were out of school for a long time. My son has special needs. I wasn’t able to get him any kind of childcare that would be equipped to handle him,” the tenant said. “I went from working full time to just a few hours a week, so my financial situation took a huge nosedive last year.”

The tenant continued to describe the living conditions, adding when they first moved in the toilet did not work and they had to use a bucket. They added mice are everywhere in the building, something we’ve heard from other tenants we’ve interviewed as well.

We reached out to Stanek for an interview and we have not heard back.

We've reached out six times for a comment during our series of reports but have never received a response.

See also: Rental protections in Nebraska win final OK from lawmakers