INWOOD, N.Y. — For almost a year now, Corrine Butt has been battling the illegal tenants in the two-family home where she lives. Corrine says MTA worker Paula Rivers-Wilborn and her family stopped paying rent and starting damaging the place. So Corrine gave them notice to vacate. They didn’t.
And that seems to have made things worse. When we first got involved in March, Paula Rivers-Wilborn denied she hadn’t paid rent and took off.
We came out again after Corrine’s security cameras recorded a portion of a dispute she had with her tenants. She says it turned into a brawl after she tossed some papers back at the family.
“They beat me...Stomped me on the floor. Her son punched me on my head and face…they was all in my apartment beating me!”
Corrine wound up in court with her tenants. After one session, Paula Rivers-Wilborn actually covered her face in paper towel to try to avoid me as she got into a car. I asked questions anyway.
“What example are you showing your children by living like this? Ms. Rivers? You can make her life difficult but you can’t show your face to the public? What example are you showing your children?
Corrine wound up pleading to disorderly conduct from the front porch brawl. But she finally got a court order evicting Rivers-Wilborn and her family. It took weeks for the marshal’s notice to take affect so he could come by and give Corrine entry to her own apartment.
Corrine was expecting the worst. And there was damage. Kitchen floor tiles shattered. Heating vents torn apart. Air conditioner cords cut. The refrigerator a smelly mess.
But the squatters are gone. And, as Corrine put it, “The nightmare is over.”