ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Neighbors in the Inez Neighborhood in the Northeast Heights have been trying for years to get their neighbor to get rid of the junk in his yard. The city took him to court and won.
Today, the homeowner appeared in front of a judge for a progress report and the judge had strong words for him. “If there is no effort put in and no progress there’s not a point of you not being incarcerated,” said Judge Joshua Sanchez.
Patrick Wallentine was found guilty of allowing weeds and litter to accumulate on his property. News 13 first reported on him in June when neighbors said they had had enough. The city then brought charges against him.
In October, Wallentine was found guilty and sentenced to serve 90 days of unsupervised probation while he cleaned his house, but the court isn’t seeing much improvement. “The whole point of you not being incarcerated was so you can continue to organize and clean up your property,” said Judge Sanchez.
According to Wallentine, he picks up trash as a way to clean up the city and he tries to reuse some of the stuff he finds and give it to people in need. “I’ve picked some of it up and it does go to the dump and a lot I’ve held on to for future projects or hopes of at least,” said Wallentine. “I’ve had countless number of appliances come through my yard and I don’t hold on to them. I’m not hoarding this stuff and I give it away to families in need.”
Neighbors say the house still looks the same way and they just want the owner to take responsibility for his house. “He just takes his junk off the streets and then throws it back on his yard. There’s [sic] no improvements at all with the house,” said neighbor Eric Montano.
Wallentine says he was sick last week, which is why he couldn’t continue cleaning up his front yard. Now that he’s feeling better, he’s going to start organizing what things he’ll be throwing out.
The judge said if he doesn’t see improvement by next Monday, Wallentine could go to jail.