Residents want answers after cars seen driving erratically in Durham parking garage

Josh Chapin Image
Thursday, February 1, 2024
Residents want answers after cars seen driving erratically in garage
"It's intolerable for residents down here."

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Eyewitness News is getting answers from the City of Durham after a parking garage fiasco.

Residents in Downtown Durham came to ABC11 after they said the issues in the city-owned garage at the corner of Morgan Street and Rigsbee Avenue became out of hand.

We went to the garage and saw tire tracks and lines from cars that had clearly been doing stunts and donuts up on the top level.

Cones also sat on the 6th floor barring anyone from going up to the 7th floor.

"It's been building over the course of the year," said John Warasila, president of the HOA of the apartments next door to the garage. "It is a hangout at night."

Warasila said people were not just hanging out but throwing beer bottles, and gathering on the deck before going to race their cars. Someone even threw a fire extinguisher off the rooftop and it landed next to John's roof deck.

"After repeated calls, they're starting to pick up on it and grasp that the issue has gotten to the point where it's intolerable for residents down here," Warasila said.

The city said because of the multiple calls and complaints, they were able to capture 14 license plates on camera and ban those cars from this or any other city-owned facility. The drivers will also get warning letters and if they come back, they could face more punishment.

"My first office was around the corner," John said. "Downtown was pretty much abandoned. This building was a burned-out shell. Downtown spent a lot of time and money getting to a place where people want to come to. To push it back with nuisances like that, it's not the direction we want to be going."

The City of Durham is also urging people to call 9-1-1 if they hear suspicious sounds in their parking garages. Officials said they'll continue to monitor things using cameras, private patrols, and license plate readers.