The Harbour 2

The Harbour, the newly built student housing complex on the Orange Coast College campus, has evicted a resident for suspicion of dealing drugs. This follows the deaths of two students from suspected overdoses within 12 hours of each other in February 

“We have recently learned that a resident, [former resident] is alleged to have offered to supply drugs to residents in the community and we subsequently notified law enforcement,” Lani Farley, community director for The Scion Group, said in an email sent to residents of The Harbour. “As a precaution, we acted promptly to exclude the individual from the community for the sake of everyone’s safety.”

Farley’s email ended by reminding residents that the accusations against the former resident have not yet been proven in court, but action against them was taken regardless, for the safety of the community. 

“Even though [former resident] had not been criminally charged or convicted and we did not yet have a court order for eviction, we took urgent action on our own and in consultation with Orange Coast College to exclude [them] from the community,” said Ray Tennison, senior director at The Harbour, in an email. “These steps were taken as a result of our own observations, concerns raised by residents and informational tips we received.”

A representative from the Costa Mesa Police Department confirmed that the former resident was arrested a couple weeks ago for probation violation. An arraignment is being held March 26. 

CMPD are waiting on the results of the toxicology reports to determine if the accusations against this resident are linked to the student deaths.   

“We remain in frequent communication with [OCC] and the Costa Mesa Police Department and are cooperating fully with law enforcement,” Tennison said. 

Two roommates from The Harbour, Ceanna Simms, an OCC film/television major and Haley Attride, an OCC biology major, spoke out about their experiences with this former resident. 

Initially, Simms reported the former resident to The Harbour management after an incident in which the former resident came to their door and refused to leave. 

“They said there’s nothing we can do,” Sims said. 

After that incident, Simms explained that she talked to management about the former resident two more times. 

“About a week later, my third roommate disclosed to me that [the former resident] had pulled out drugs and tried to give her some while she was in [former resident’s] room,” Simms said. “He had blue percocets and said they had fentanyl.”

The former resident was again reported to management. Simms said two other students also reported him for dealing. 

“[The former resident] is targeting 18-year olds,” Simms said. “Getting them hooked before charging them.”

Finally, Simms called the police on the former resident after he again tried to come into their apartment and refused to leave. This time, she said the former resident was arrested and officially evicted from The Harbour. 

Simms said the former resident replied “you don’t know the full story” when  confronted about the recent student deaths. 

“We all feel unsafe,” Simms said. “We’re completely on edge every time there’s a knock on the door. All three of us have considered getting out, but there’s no way to break our lease without proof he was stalking us.”

“None of us will be renewing our lease,” Simms added. 

Attride, one of Simm’s roommates, met the former resident on the dating app Tinder in July 2020. 

“I hung out with [them] once,” Attride said. “[Former resident] was living at a sober living house, which I didn’t know when I picked him up. The whole thing was weird.”

Though Attride blocked the former resident, she began seeing him around The Harbour when they moved in a few months later and realized they were a resident there. 

“[Former resident] posted a screenshot of his buddy’s Snapchat saying he had Xanax and other drugs available,” Attride said. “[He] preyed on the younger girls in our apartments.”

Attride said that the former resident tried to break into their apartment on Feb. 16 and 20, and that [he] tried to fight her. Despite the fact that she feels in danger-- since this former resident knows she called the police-- The Harbour won’t let her out of her lease. 

Additionally, Attride said The Harbour also attracts a lot of “sketchy” people. 

“This place is targeted,” Attride said. 

In the email to The Harbour residents, Farley also warned residents that the former resident has returned to campus since being evicted and admonished from campus property, and reportedly offered at least one person drugs. 

Jim Rudy, Director of Public Safety at OCC, confirmed they received a “third-hand” report that the former resident had been spotted on campus, but was not able to be located. He said that the former resident is liable for trespassing if found on OCC property. 

“We will be continuing our patrol checks and foot patrols of the parking lot, walking the perimeter and being as highly visible as possible,” Rudy said. 

Attride’s biggest concern about The Harbour is how the security is split: OCC Public Safety is responsible for the outside of the building, while The Scion Group is responsible for the inside, which they outsource to a third party security company, Securitas. 

“I 100% feel like [residents] fall through the cracks,” Attride said while describing a few different scary incidents in the parking lot, such as getting yelled at by a mentally unstable man and followed by an unfamiliar car. 

“I can’t believe what a shit show it’s been here,” Attride said. “Worst experience ever.”

 

Note: Coast Report has elected to withhold the former resident’s name until formal charges are filed in relation to these incidents.

(2) comments

AnOldFriend

According to California tenant law, a renter can legally give notice of breaking their lease early when a crime has occurred on the property that makes the other renters unsafe. That includes deaths or sale of dangerous drugs… Basically this whole scenario. I have included a link to the actual section of tenant law that states the rules and also includes an example for renters on how to give notice to their property manager. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CIV&sectionNum=1946.7

AnOldFriend

I found this article frustrating. As someone who has experienced a very similar living situation, I highly recommend for these girls to break their lease and pay the fee to the property management. If the situation is actually that bad, why would they continue to live in a ‘dangerous’ environment? Why aren’t their parents/guardians or school representatives advocating for their safety? If the OCC apartments are a truly dangerous and unfit environment for students, I would argue that these girls would be able to arbitrate/negotiate with the property manager to let them out of the lease without a fee, if that was really the case. To put it into student perspective...for the price of three nights of DoorDash take-out, they can legally move out. Don’t let anyone (including apartment managers) force you to live in an unsafe environment. Breaking your lease is allowed, you just have to pay a fee. Do some research about rental agreements and legal rights regarding breaking a lease, knowledge is power!

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