PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Following a months-long investigation into a nuisance home in North Portland, the city and police are stepping in to try and put a stop to it.
Although the Hendon family’s criminal history has been impacting the neighborhood and city for decades, neighbors said they weren’t getting enough help from the city or county.
In November, KOIN 6 exposed disturbing and dangerous behavior spilling out of the Hendon house, including illegal drugs, assaults, theft — and even shootings.
Three generations of the Hendon family have been charged with more than 500 crimes. They were convicted for over half the criminal acts, after taking a plea deal for things like illegal drugs, weapons, burglaries, theft, sexual abuse, and prostitution.
Public records prove people called 911 to the house on North Houghton Street hundreds of times in recent years — straining emergency resources and the criminal justice system.
But things got worse before they started to get better.
Erica Borman, who lives across the street from the Hendon family, said her bedroom window was pierced by a pellet gun and multiple car windows were shot out after she spoke to KOIN 6 about what she’s seen at the home.
“It’s clear to [police] that it’s retaliatory and they have expressed concern for the safety of my family in particular,” said Borman. “I have children. It’s terrifying.”
This disturbing behavior happened the night after the Portland Bureau of Transportation and police performed a massive street cleanup, towing the abandoned and illegal vehicles and debris connected to the Hendon house, following our coverage.
Since KOIN 6’s previous report detailing the extent of the ongoing and alarming issues, neighbors say police have increased patrols in the Kenton neighborhood.
“It’s really helped us get some movement and attention,” Borman said. “And it’s been a validating experience because we have felt alone in this and how bad it’s gotten and continues to be. And the story illustrated how bad it really is.”
City leaders even caught wind of the issue when a neighbor pleaded with them in City Hall.
“I’m here today with support from my neighbors to ask for your attention and action in helping us restore peace and safety to our neighborhood and the Kenton community garden,” said Amber Barnes, during public testimony.
City leaders have met privately with neighbors about how the city intends to restore a sense of safety to a block that’s been living in constant fear of the people living next door.
“I felt like we were heard,” Borman said.
The Portland Police Bureau has now built a case on the Hendon house. Officers recently served the family a letter warning them that they’re at risk of being designated a “chronic nuisance property.” The warning comes after PPB recorded three nuisances within 30 days, involving theft and offensive littering.
As a result, authorities have given the family 10 days to meet with officers and fix the problems or else face further action.
The owner of the home is Carol Hendon and she is deceased. She’s the late mother and grandmother of some of those currently residing in the house.
If the remaining occupants are uncooperative and the nuisance activities continue, police will issue another letter saying they’ve determined the house is in fact a “chronic nuisance property,” with a final 10-day notice. If the occupants meet with officers within those 10 days, they are given 60 days to work with police to abate the nuisances. If those requirements aren’t met, officers can then go to the city attorney’s office to seek further legal action.
If a Multnomah County judge determines the house to be a chronic nuisance property, they can then issue a warrant and work to evict the people occupying the home, board it up and clean up the property, or issue financial penalties. Records show that nuisance warnings do oftentimes solve the problems, but all of this takes time and due process.
However, the city and police will first try to work with the occupants to fix problems before they take cases this far.
When KOIN 6 reached out to the family members for comment, one said they’re upset with what’s happening at their late mother’s house and they want to turn things around. She told KOIN 6 that there are currently eleven adults and one child living in the 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom house.
The other family members have not returned KOIN 6’s calls.