Friday, 17 February 2017 12:28

Berclair Home Shut Down as Public Nuisance

MEMPHIS – Feb. 17, 2017 - A private home in northeast Memphis where police have been called at least 85 times in the past two years has been closed as a public nuisance, Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich said Friday.  
An investigation by the Memphis Police Department Organized Crime Unit and Vice Teams showed that that the residence at 3913 Ronnie Ave. in the Berclair area has been the scene of ongoing drug trafficking, gunfire, fights, and other disturbances since April of 2015.
“This petition is filed in an effort to stop what appears to be a long-term and worsening problem of criminal activity occurring at 3913 Ronnie,” Gen. Weirich said. “The property is an uncontrolled danger and a nuisance, serving as a haven for extensive drug-related sales and activity, gang activity, criminal disturbances and other dangerous behavior.”
The home is owned by Jac-Co Construction Co. and is occupied by Betty Pratt, aka Betty Davis, 64, who is on probation for felony possession of cocaine with intent to manufacture and sell. She has been accused of operating a public nuisance residence in the past.
Davis was arrested earlier this month on new cocaine charges and was taken into custody Thursday for violating terms of her eight-year probation.
General Sessions/Environmental Court Referee John Cameron granted a petition for a temporary injunction and set the matter for a show-cause hearing at 10:30 a.m. on Monday.
The petition was submitted by Gen. Weirich, Asst. Dist. Atty. Paul Hagerman, City Attorney Bruce McMullen and Asst. City Attys. Kenya Hooks and William Gibbons Jr.
According to the petition, the home on Ronnie is in a residential area nearly adjacent to Boston Baptist Church, .1 mile from Gragg Park, .2 mile from Twinkles Day Care and from Raleigh Seventh Day Adventist Church, and .6 mile from Jackson Elementary. Since April 1, 2015, calls for MPD assistance at the residence have included 17 mental calls, 16 armed-party calls, 11 drug calls, 8 disturbance calls, 8 shots-fired calls, 6 domestic calls, 4 fight calls and 4 suspicious activity calls.
Investigators said Pratt’s son, Fernandez Davis, who also lives at the residence, has been arrested in the past on drug charges and was once accused by his mother of scratching her car with a steak knife and pouring gasoline throughout the house.
Davis was described in court papers as a known mental consumer with violent tendencies.
OCU officers have observed an over-abundance of foot and vehicle traffic by individuals throughout the day and evening who quickly approach the residence and leave after just short visits, behavior consistent with drug trafficking.
Earlier this month police stopped Pratt soon after she left the residence and noted that she tried to quickly dispose of 15 rocks of crack cocaine. She also had $742 in cash in her possession.