There’s been an alarming development in a story NBC 7 San Diego aired in January about security concerns involving 1050 B, high-rise affordable housing complex downtown.
Police on Thursday confirmed that they’ve arrested two men on rape counts involving an intoxicated woman last weekend – the alleged crimes apparently caught on surveillance video.
It’s a $90 million dollar showcase that opened two years ago, and has been subject to widespread complaints about safety issues both inside and outside the place.
Among its 500 residents are a number of children.
Told of the alleged sexual assault, a resident who identified himself only as Darnell replied: "I don't feel safe for the well-being of kids being here, if that's going to be going on. Whatever needs to be done, I'm more for safety. It has to be done."
The incident was reported to have happened in a trash room on the first level of the underground parking garage around 3:15 a.m. Sunday.
A so-called "courtesy patrol" agent was elsewhere in the building at the time.
His shift runs from 8:30 p.m. Saturdays to 4:30 a.m. Sundays, and the same time frame Sunday nights to Monday mornings.
The patrol was hired by the landlord following a story NBC 7 aired in January about a petition drive among dozens of residents who cited car thefts, burglaries, assaults, vandalism and graffiti -- and invasions by drug dealers, addicts, prostitutes, and derelicts.
"They're minimizing every bad thing that happens here,” tenant activist Pat Estelle said of management’s response to their demands for greater security measures. “They don't seem to take it seriously.”
Added another tenant, who declined to give his name: “Whoever is in charge of the overall planning of the building doesn’t have the safety of the residents as a top priority. It’s been a hectic situation here. The security seems like a Band-Aid over a larger problem – poor resident screening. It’s a travesty.”
In fact, according to letter sent to Estelle by a building management executive, one of the suspects had "proper access" to the complex.
Now, in the wake of the reported sexual assault, tenants have escalated their calls for more patrols.
One reported seeing one of the suspects and the alleged victim in the aftermath of the incident.
"She said the man was standing there with a wine bottle in his hand,” Estelle said, recounting a conversation with the witness. “The lady was on the floor crying. She was bloody."
Other tenants accuse the landlord of turning a blind eye to their concerns -- and the realities of patrolling the situation in a 23-floor residential complex.
"In any other building or any other complex, or office complex, they have more than one type of security roaming the grounds and on the floors,” said a resident who gave his name as Brian, as his 17-year-old daughter listened in on his interview with NBC 7. “Twenty-three floors is too many for one guy."
Said Estelle: "It's a financial thing; they don't want to spend the money for security. But they don't tell us that. The say everything is just fine, everything has been resolved. And that this couldn't be avoided, and they're thinking the cameras are doing the trick. Well, the cameras are great, if they can identify the perpetrator. But the act is over and done with!"
A spokeswoman for the building's management company issued NBC 7 a statement saying: “We won't be commenting on this police matter today. In the near future, we would like to speak with you about security at 1050 B."
In the executive’s letter to Estelle, there was mention of making arrangements for a community meeting with Police Department representatives, to "take advantage of that knowledge and advice .. in preventing further incidents."