Support home in Raleigh shut down following arrest
Posted June 24, 2015 5:42 p.m. EDT
Updated June 24, 2015 6:25 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Police have arrested a Raleigh man on charges of manufacturing and possessing methamphetamine at a city-registered supportive housing residence.
Chad Holder, 41, was arrested June 11 at the Armstrong House—a home welcoming to substance abusers— at 4016 Pickwick Drive in Raleigh. Records show officers have been called to the residence 67 times since it opened its doors in June of 2009.
Marcus Armstrong, who operates six support homes in Raleigh including the Pickwick location, said Wednesday that the work he has been doing for nine years is personal.
“I myself lived in these houses for four years while I went to college, so that's why I started the organization,” he said. “They're not going out committing crimes. They're here to better their lives.”
Armstrong said he called police June 11 when there was a problem at the house, and he thinks what happened on Pickwick does not represent his typical tenants.
“Most of those calls, if you look at the origination of them, are either from me or my house managers,” Armstrong said. “Anytime where there’s an issue beyond the scope of what we do—which is housing—I want to get the proper authorities there. When you take a group with substance abuse, there’s always the potential that somebody is going to relapse.
“A hospital is not a terrible hospital because one person goes in and dies after an operation. We just try to fix the procedure, try and fix what’s wrong.”
Mike Tefft owns three properties in Raleigh, including the house on Pickwick.
"When we found out something illegal had happened we immediately called 911,” Tefft said. “I contacted Wake County to find out what steps need to be taken to clean up the property, and that plan is in action."
The State Bureau of Investigation posted a sign on the home warning of contamination following the arrest and assessment of the home.
“There was a fire about 20 feet from my house that was not reported to the fire department and made by a meth lab,” neighbor David Petroe said.
The city requires support homes to meet certain zoning requirements, but the state does not regulate such facilities.
“I've noticed a lot of police activity, fire activity and ambulance activity since they moved in,” neighbor Elaine Petroe said. “It's horrible and it’s something we've worried about from day one. Once the facility is registered, they have free reign to do what they want.”
Armstrong said he hopes he can turn neighbors’ concerns around in time.
“They realize the fear is based on a misunderstanding of what the house represents and what type of people are there,” he said.
Tefft tested the property Wednesday to see if there is any contamination. He has already hired a company to come in and clean up the house, based on what he learns from the testing. He expects that the house will be cleaned, safe and open again for residents in about two weeks.
"This is a very isolated incident,” Tefft said. “It is unfortunate that it happened. We are doing everything we can to get the house back in line with the community."