WOBURN - In the wake of a stabbing at 18-20 Campbell St. last week that left a Woburn teen with serious injuries, the City Council will seek to take over the property and evict the residents.
“We are going to seek receivership through Woburn District Court,” said Ward 4 Alderman Michael Anderson. “The property will be vacated, and the receiver will fix the property up.”
Anderson said the Building Dept. has begun levying fines to the owner for running the property as a rooming house, ironically on the basis of statements made by the resident who was arrested for the stabbing on Nov. 11.
A 15-year-old Woburn Center teen was taken to Mass. General Hospital after being stabbed approximately 10 times with a kitchen knife during a brawl which the co-owner of the house next door said was witnessed by her tenants.
“This (house) needs to be demolished and rebuilt and everybody thrown out of there,” said Maria Pesola. “It’s really getting bad. We just really want this cleaned up.”
The public hearing was continued by the council until its second meeting in February, by which time Anderson said he expects an “independent third party” will be appointed by the court to begin the receivership process.
“If I had to handicap it, I’d say it will be less than six months,” said Anderson. “I’m hoping it will be a pretty streamlined process.”
The property at 18-20 Campbell St. was a problem prior to the Nov. 11 stabbing, with noise emanating from late night activities including an illegal scrap metal operation, according to neighbors.
The council initiated nuisance proceedings about six months ago, but never got to meet with the owner, Deryl Witham, who “has continued to duck us,” according to Anderson.
The owner of 17 Campbell St. said the activities across the street are starting to impact his dance studio business, since his “customers are afraid to come down the street.”
Pesola thanked the Woburn Police Dept. for its diligence.
“They’ve done an outstanding job,” she said. “They’ve really been instrumental in trying to do the right thing.”