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Shooting brings attention back to trailer park

A shooting this week at Hayes Trailer Park has drawn the attention of city aldermen back to that property, which leaders have made a priority to clean up.

     Timothy Smith, 34, of 401 Industrial Park Road, was arrested Monday night for allegedly shooting an unidentified subject in the arm with a handgun that same night at the trailer Park, said Police Chief Pap Henderson.

     Brookhaven Police received a call about the incident at 7:38 p.m. Monday, but Henderson said trouble had already been brewing between the Smith and the other person.

     “We had been up there four or five times with these two having a disagreement,” Henderson said.

     Smith alleged the victim had hit him in the mouth earlier that day, Henderson said.

     Smith remained in the Lincoln County jail as of Thursday morning.

     At Tuesday’s night city board meeting, Ward Six Alderman David Phillips mentioned the shooting and expressed his intent to move forward again to take action against the trailer park under the city’s nuisance property ordinance.

     Charles Hayes, of Brandon, owns the trailer park and city leaders had expressed optimism that progress would be made after a meeting with Hayes in the early summer.

     “He was very cooperative when he was brought in,” Henderson said. “He started off trying to do the right thing.”

     Under the city’s nuisance property ordinance, a property may be declared a nuisance after three criminal incidents or code violations occur on site within a 60-day period. If property owners don’t implement a plan to abate the problems, they can be charged and fined.

     Henderson said Hayes hasn’t followed through on security measures at the park, including a failure to install extra lighting for security.

     And in an ironic turn, Hayes himself was arrested at the park on July 20 for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, Henderson said.

     Despite any measures he may have taken to alleviate problems, Henderson said troubles continue.

     “They have escalated,” Henderson said. “I think this past week was one of the highest times we’ve had up there.”

     Phillips, whose ward the trailer park is located in, told aldermen Tuesday he intends to bring Hayes down for another meeting and will pursue formal action if problems continue.

     “We need to ensure the safety of the people that live there,” Phillips said.

     Hayes could not be reached for comment.

     Henderson said he’s told Hayes to be more selective about his renters, but added that not all of the problems have involved residents.

     “A lot of these problems are coming into Hayes Trailer Park,” Henderson said. “It’s not neighbors against neighbors.”

     Henderson pledged more investigation of problems at the park.

     Aldermen passed the nuisance property ordinance earlier this year explicitly as a means to deal with problems at Hayes Trailer Park. Neighbors have complained of gunfire and fights, and Phillips has shown aldermen police reports indicating authorities have in the past made a dozen or more visits to the park within a month.