NYCHA RAT SCANDAL

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.

TRANSCRIPT

> 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.

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, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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