This article appeared on Fox40 News
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A fed-up property owner has changed up tactics, but he is still not backing down from taking over a public road.
Rich Eaton said he was hoping to force Sacramento to deal with what he calls rampant crime on Railroad Drive.
Eaton didn’t hesitate Monday morning when code enforcement arrived and confirmed he would have to remove the orange barriers from Railroad Drive or be ticketed.
“A permanent or even a temporary barrier is illegal, which I knew. Which I did to get the city to respond and speak to me, which they still have not done,” Eaton told FOX40.
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But that doesn’t mean he’s going to stop what he is doing.
“I’ll make my next move and wait for them to countermove it,” Eaton explained.
A week ago, Eaton put up the barriers, along with private security, in an effort he says to keep criminal activity away from the cul-de-sac where he owns several properties. Before the barriers, he said the area was plagued by drugs, prostitution, vandalism, and theft.
He said that as of last Monday the general public is being allowed to drive in, but people he or his security guard feel have ill intent are being kept out.
By Wednesday, code enforcement got wind of what he was doing. Monday was the deadline to move the barriers. Eaton did remove the barriers. However, made clear he has no intention of reopening the road.
Jose Mendez, a code enforcement manager with Sacramento said another barrier or road block could potentially impede, and create another violation of city code.
The penalty would be fines, but Eaton said fines and the cost of the round-the-clock security don’t compare to the nearly $200,000 in property damage he’s suffered as a result of what he calls unchecked crime on the street.
He said he’ll continue to block the road until city leaders commit to keeping the area clear.
“Enforce the no parking from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Let’s start there,” Eaton said. “The city has obviously abandoned Railroad Drive. We will clean this up if they allow us to put a gate here with a guard 24/7.”
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FOX40 reached out to various city offices Eaton has called on to sit down with him including the mayor, city manager and police chief. Spokespeople for the mayor and city manager pointed out that Eaton has sued the city for issues related to this matter, so they won’t comment on pending litigation.