NYCHA RAT SCANDAL

October 19, 2018 at 4:45 am

Rats have literally moved in and taken over New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) apartments in the Bronx, biting one child and upsetting the community’s residents, in the process. We have the latest on the story and a look at New York’s new “rat patrol.”

Aired on October 19, 2018.

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>> BRAZEN AND BOLD HOME
INVASIONS ARE OCCURRING INSIDE
THE CITY'S APARTMENT HOUSES IN
THE BRORNX.
WE'RE NOT TALKING CRIMINALS,
WE'RE TALKING RATS.
SCORES OF THEM, AND THEY'VE
LITERALLY TAKEN OVER ASIA
CLEMENTE'S APARTMENT.
THE VERMIN INFESS STATION WENT
FROM SCARY TO DEADLY.
WHEN SHE DISCOVERED A RAT BITING
HER 1-YEAR-OLD'S STOMACH NOT
ONCE BUT TWICE, LEAVING HIM WITH
BLOODY WOUNDS.
SHE THINKS THE RAT WAS GNAWING
AT THE FEEDING TUBE ATTACHED TO
THE BOY'S STOMACH.
HE HAD ALREADY BEEN DEALING WITH
CHRONIC LUNG DISEASE.
UNFORTUNATELY, ASIA AND BABY
DANIEL ARE NOT ALONE.
RATS ARE CRAWLING THROUGH
KITCHEN CABINETS, HOLES IN WALLS
ALL THROUGH THE COMPLEX.
WITH RESIDENTS FEARING NOT ONLY
FOR CHILDREN BUT FOR PETS AS
WELL.
THE RESIDENTS SAY THE RAT
INFESTATION OCCURRED WHEN A
COMPACTOR ROOM WAS SHUT DOWN.
A SHUTDOWN THAT WAS NEEDED TO
AGGRESSIVELY COMBAT THE PROBLEM
AT ITS CORE.
THEY'VE ALSO SAID THEY'RE BUSY
REPAIRING EVERY ASPECT OF THIS
DANGEROUS SITUATION.
RECENTLY, METRO FOCUS
CORRESPONDENT WENT ON A RAT
PATROL OF SORTS TO SEE FIRSTHAND
WHAT IS BEING DONE TO ERADICATE
THE VERMIN EXPLOSION.
WITH THE GROUP, RATS.
AN URBAN DOG HUNTING CLUB.
>> I'M AT 9th STREET AND AVENUE
C IN THE EAST VILLAGE, IS A HOT
STICKY WET MUGGY DAY.
THAT IS NOT STOPPING THE RAT
HUNTERS FROM COMING HERE AND
TRYING TO SPOKE OUT SOME OF THE
RATS LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY.
I THINK ONE THING THAT PEOPLE
REALIZE RIGHT AWAY, THERE ARE A
LOT OF RATS HERE, AND IT BECOMES
A WAY OF LIFE.
THESE RAT HUNTERS HERE ARE
TRYING TO DO A LITTLE BIT ABOUT
THAT.
>> THE RATS LIVE HERE AND EAT ON
THE STREET.
>> YEAH.
>> SO THE PROBLEM IS, YOU CAN'T
GET THEM OUT OF HERE WITH THE
DOGS THE WAY WE DO ON THE
STREET.
EVERY TIME WE SHOW UP ON THE
STREET, THEY COME RUNNING IN
HERE.
AND WE CAN'T GET THEM OUT.
SO ONE WAY WE CAN TRY TO REDUCE
A FEW RATS EFFECTIVELY WITH THE
SMOKER.
WE GAS THE HOLES, THE RATS
EITHER RUN OUT OR THEY DON'T.
IF THEY RUN OUT, THE DOGS
HOPEFULLY GET THEM.
AND IF THEY DON'T, THE SMOKE
GETS THEM.
>> RICHARD REYNOLDS IS THE OWNER
OF THIS UNIQUE PACK OF RAT
HUNTERS.
RAMEL HAS BEEN ON PLENTY OF
HUNTS AND IMMEDIATELY GOES FOR
RAT BOROUGH.
>> THIS IS ONE OF THE NINE
HOLES.
>> THE TEAM WAS AT IT FOR HOURS.
AT FIRST THERE WERE A FEW CLOSE
CALLS, BUT ALL MISSES.
>> I SAW IT RUN FROM THAT HOLE
THERE THAT WAY.
>> ALL RIGHT, YOU BLEW IT.
>> THIS IS KIND OF A HIT AND
MISS THING.
YOU'LL NEVER KNOW HOW MANY RATS
YOU DISPATCHED DOWN HERE TODAY,
BECAUSE THEY DON'T COME OUT.
IF WE FILL A BOROUGH WITH
NOXIOUS FUMES AND WE RUN IT IN
THERE FOR FIVE MINUTES.
WHATEVER'S IN THERE IS DEAD.
IT WILL NEVER COME OUT.
SO DESPITE THE FACT THAT WE'VE
SEEN THEM COME OUT DUE TO THE
GAS, IF WE GET NONE, IT'S STILL
A SUCCESS, BECAUSE WE CUT DOWN
ON THE RAT POPULATION.
>> IN THE EVENING, THEY FINALLY
CAUGHT ONE.
IT ALL WENT DOWN SO QUICKLY, WE
ONLY HAD TIME TO SHOOT IT ON
CELL PHONE.
>> THERE HE IS, RIGHT THERE.
THEY MANAGED TO CATCH TWO RATS
AT THAT TIME, THE DAY WAS STILL
YOUNG.
I MET UP WITH A TEAM NEAR THE
HOUSES.
NEW YORK'S PUBLIC HOUSING HAS A
DOCUMENTED ISSUE WITH PEST
CONTROL, MIXED WITH A PERFECT
HUNTING GROUND.
TYPICALLY RICHARD SAYS HE HAS A
HALF DOZEN OR SO HUNTERS WITH
THEM, THE RAIN HAS KEPT MANY
PEOPLE AWAY.
NONETHELESS THEY GET STARTED
IMMEDIATELY.
>> RATS LOVE THE HEAT AND
HUMIDITY.
>> WITH THE STREETLIGHTS AND
NOSE TRAINED TO SNIFF OUT RATS,
THESE DOGS ARE ON THE JOB.
JUST LIKE EARLIER IN THE DAY, IT
TAKES A LITTLE PATIENCE AND
LUCK.
FINALLY THEY CATCH ONE.
THEN TWO, THEN THREE.
ABOUT A DOZEN.
THE DOG OWNERS SAY THEY'RE NOT
IN ANY DANGER OF DISEASE FROM
THE RATS, BUT THEY GET A GOOD
WASHING BEFORE COMING IN THE
HOUSE.
THEY'RE BETTER OFF WITH A
PURPOSE.
>> THESE DOGS WERE BRED TO WORK.
A DOG THAT'S IN A HOUSEHOLD ALL
DAY LONG SUFFERS.
EVEN THOUGH PEOPLE HAVE THE BEST
INTENTIONS, THEY'RE THINKING
LIKE HUMANS AND NOT LIKE DOGS.
DOGS ARE MEANT TO HAVE A
PURPOSE.
NOT EVERYONE HAS TO HUNT OR KILL
VERMIN BUT THE DOG NEEDS A
PURPOSE.
I DON'T CARE WHAT BREED.
A WORKING BREED TO ME IS THE
ONLY DOG TO OWN.
>> RICHARD HAS BEGUN AT THIS FOR
ABOUT 30 YEARS.
THE OVERALL IMPACT IS
NEGLIGENTABLE.
THEY ARE HOPING TO GET A BETTER
UNDERSTANDING OF THE CITY'S RAT
POPULATION.
WHICH IN 2014 PUT IT AT AN
ESTIMATED 2 MILLION.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, and Judy and Josh Weston.

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