ST. LOUIS – Stranded and desperate for help, some senior citizens are stuck in a St. Louis apartment building because of broken elevators.
William Darty is unable to leave the seventh floor of his apartment building because the elevators are not working.
“I walk with a cane. My right side is paralyzed,” he said. “The only way for me to get down is the elevator and I’m disabled.”
Darty is unable to go down the steps and security at Roosevelt Towne Apartments, located on Euclid near Delmar, told the FOX Files crew to leave the property.
Darty still wanted to share what was happening inside the apartment building and went to the stairwell windows to show St. Louis the nightmare scenario he’s living in.
“I go to rehab to exercise three days a week; I can’t do that. I’m really trapped in here,” he said.
Darty said the elevators have been broken for more than two weeks.
“I can’t make my doctor’s appointment,” Darty said. “My food is very scarce now. I have no way of bringing food in.”
Darty said he’s locating into a grocery delivery service, but that would require him to go down the steps.
“They can bring it to the building, but they won’t bring it up,” he said.
There’s a sign posted on the entrance door telling residents that property management is doing what it can to get the elevators working again and “not ignoring this emergency.”
Candice Young has a newborn baby and climbs seven flights of stairs to get home.
“I’ve seen one of my elderly neighbors take three hours to get up the stairs, with little assistance that was there,” Young said.
Other neighbors said they saw a woman in her 80s get carried up the steps in a wheelchair.
“Even their caretakers won’t come,” Darty said.
Missouri Secretary of State records reveal Roosevelt Towne Apartments are owned by River City Affordable Housing, an LLC with a St. Louis address, but its Board of Directors have addresses across California in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and Norwalk, and in St. Petersburg, Florida.
In a paragraph long message to residents, property managers say they are faced with many challenges on getting the elevators fixed.
“The companies that we have reached out to have all declined our request due to them not feeling safe on the property,” the letter reads. “We have contacted every elevator company in the St. Louis and St. Charles area. With the number of incidents that have happened at Roosevelt, we are constantly being declined.”
St. Louis police records show officers have been called to that address about 100 times this year for various calls, ranging from suspicious activity to shots fired.
Darty is pleading for help.
“I wish they would do something about this elevator; go ahead and fix it up,” Darty said.
St. Louis Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Nicole Franklin confirmed the city is aware of the problem.
“The city has notified the owner of the serious violation. We are exploring next steps to hold them accountable,” Franklin wrote in a statement.
Residents fear what could happen in an emergency.
St. Louis Fire Department Captain Garon Mosby said with the elevators out of service, firefighters are faced with additional challenges.
“If a patient is in need of transport and they live on the upper floors, they would have to be carried down the stairs by our personnel,” Mosby said. “Depending on a variety of circumstances, this would require additional resources and obviously more time, which could be crucial to the outcome of the patient.”
The city fire marshal has worked with the building to set up a fire watch program.
Mosby said a two-person team will walk the floors of the building, one at the fire panel, to ensure there is no smoke or fire.
Residents like Darty are simply stuck.
“I want to go back to everyday living, you know, a normal life of living,” he said.
A representative for the apartment building said they are doing everything possible to get the elevators back up and working but did not respond to questions related to any assistance being offering to senior citizens for groceries or medicine.