Theresa Schmidt, KPLC-TV (Lake Charles, La.), Jan. 23, 2006
It’s at least the 26th time so far this year, that Lake Charles Police respond to a call at Lakeview Motel where FEMA pays to house people displaced from the hurricanes; people like Stacy Arceneaux and her mother Charlotte Broussard. The frightened women who live here have this notice on the door: “Identify yourself, do not disturb, gun in room.”
Stacy’s daughter Ashley & her small son come here too, to visit and bring good and supplies. But after several weeks the women are beside themselves. “They’re going to kill us,” says Broussard. “When I come outside it’s, ‘I’m gonna kill you *itch and shoot you. I walked to management office a while ago and that’s how the police department wound up here and made another bust, right next door to us,” says Ashley.
“This is what I run around with in my room (shows .45 caliber pistol) and I’ve got a .17 caliber sitting up there. That’s what we’re living with. When my child comes to visit me I’ve got to walk outside and meet here with a .17 gun,” explains Stacy. “What’s wrong with this picture? There’s a problem with this. (shows .17 caliber pistol.) This is what I have to greet my child outside with so she don’t get messed with by crackheads. I got a grandbaby. I can’t even see my family. No, I’m not living this way. I can’t take anymore. I’m worried about my mother. I can’t go to work, I can’t get a job. I can’t do anything. I can’t leave her in this. I can’t leave my mama in this mess.”
“There’s a condom laying out, a used condom laying outside my door that’s from next door because they’re trading sex off for drugs. And they’re screaming obscenities in the parking lot on how, ‘if you do this to me for a rock,” says Stacy.