Senior Home Manager Admits to Sabotaging Property
Local News - Newsmakers
Written by Millbank Daily-Weekly   
Thursday, 05 July 2012 14:34

One of Millbank's biggest mysteries has been solved, and who the culprit was shocked the local mystery book club members.

For fifteen months, the Downhill Moderate Senior Living Home has been under assault by mysterious forces working in the dark of night. At least, that's what its residents believed. The Home is a converted apartment complex on 14th Avenue. It has 37 residents who live independently but may share meals and receive assistance and transportation. Residents take pride in Downhill's neat and tidy facilities as well as its no-frills approach to senior living.

However, beginning in April of 2011, the facility frequently found debris on its front lawn. At first, residents were stumped by the trash and how it got there. Slowly, however, they became outraged. Police were called often. Meetings were held. The Senior Living Home became a beehive of sleuths and vigilantes.

"Water bottles, dog poop, plastic bags. You name it, sometimes as much as two pieces of trash in a day," said Tilda Berthen, 78. "It was horrible, like living in the Out of Bounds Saloon parking lot." Berthen has been a Downhill Moderate for eight years. She says before the trash incidents Downhill was a nice, very quiet place to live.

Marie Fenword, 84, agreed, "You could take a nap in the afternoon, or watch your stories, and not worry that someone might have left a gum wrapper in the bushes or a baseball on the sidewalk."

Overwhelmed by the frequency of complaints from Downhill Moderate, Millbank police were unable to inspect every trash incident. That's when the residents took things into their own hands. They banded together to patrol the complex in hopes of catching sight of the hoodlums. Resident meetings were held nightly, and some accused their neighbors' grandchildren of being the litterers. The mystery book club collected the waste, tagged it and searched every burger wrapper and cat feces for clues.

"It was all anyone talked about," said complex manager Irvin Hoyt. "They were busy every day trying to catch the bad guys."

Mr. Hoyt would know. He was recently caught by residents as the mystery litterer.Trash on lawn of Downhill Senior Home

"Guilty as charged," said the complex manager with a smile. Hoyt explained. "We're moderate, not luxury. We don't have the frills and perks of luxury retirement communities. That means there are no bocce ball courts, swimming pools, billiards room or putting greens. These people can only play bingo so many times before they'd rather stay home."

The trash caper was his way of giving them something to do. "The residents get bored then just tend to sleep. I read an article about how elderly folks need to flex their mental muscles to ward off dementia." Mr. Hoyt explained that the residents were passionate about nothing more than trash and the idea that young people were disrespecting them. That's what inspired his caper.

Mr. Hoyt was finally caught when one residents' grandchildren visited and set up a spy cam. Mr. Hoyt was caught carefully placing candy wrappers in the rose bushes at five a.m. Downhill Moderate residents confronted Mr Hoyt and he admitted his crime.

"Oh, boy," said Mrs. Berthen as she rubbed her hands and smiled. "You should have seen the look on his face. Caught red-handed. We got him! I knew we would."

Downhill Moderate residents chose not to alert the police or press charges, though. They  also requested that Mr. Hoyt not be fired for his transgression.

"But we're very mad at him," assured Ms. Fenword. "Things have returned to normal. Everyone is back in their apartment, keeping to themselves. After all that excitement, it almost feels too quiet."

"For now," said Mr. Hoyt.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 05 July 2012 21:36

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