Residents Say Previous Security Concerns Were Not Addressed After Tenant Was Beaten To Death In 2019By Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for answers after a 78-year-old woman was found dead in her NYCHA apartment building Friday.

It’s not the first time tragedy has struck the senior housing development.

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NYPD officers are now stationed outside of NYCHA‘s Carter Woodson Senior Housing Development in Brooklyn.

Police say 78-year-old Juanita Cabarello was discovered dead by her son in the hallway of her sixth floor apartment with a cord wrapped around her neck.

“You see her, she walks with her walker, she minds her business,” Tenant Association President Diane Johnson told CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas.

Sources say Cabarello’s apartment was not ransacked. Officers are still trying to determine what happened.

Now, this incident adds to mounting fears.

“We have tenants that, in the day or nighttime, are scared to go to the incinerator. We don’t know who’s gonna come out that exit,” Johnson said.

In 2019, 83-year-old resident Jacolia James was found beaten to death in her apartment. It shook this community to its core, and residents say the concerns tenants had then were never addressed by the city and NYCHA.

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That’s why Councilwoman Inez Barron renewed calls for increased security first made after James’ murder.

“We’re not taking any excuses. We’re not waiting for any other tragedies to occur here,” Barron said.

They’re asking for more cameras throughout the building, well beyond the lobby, and better security guards.

“The person that sits there, we might have to help them. They don’t have mace. They don’t have a taser. They don’t have anything,” Johnson said.

CBS2 was there as a streetlight outside the building was being fixed, another one of their concerns.

Both Barron and Johnson say NYCHA initially agreed to the upgrades, but plans stalled because of COVID restrictions.

“We are demanding that NYCHA and the mayor set their timetable beginning tomorrow,” Barron said.

A plan to finally fulfill the promises made in the midst of heartache nearly two years ago that returned Friday night, so the vulnerable residents can finally begin to feel safe.

In a statement, NYCHA said it is working with its city partners to expedite the installation of more security cameras.

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Aundrea Cline-Thomas