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"Nightmare Neighbor" Arrested, Locked Out of Santa Monica Apartment
By Jorge Casuso
May 17, 2019 -- Mark Yaskoweak, the "nightmare neighbor" at an affordable housing building on the beach, was arrested by Santa Monica police Wednesday evening after Sheriff's deputies trapped the reclusive tenant in a cat-and-mouse scheme.
According to police records, a call for service at the location of the Community Corporation building on Vicente Terrace was logged at 6:30 p.m. and concluded at 10:53 p.m.
Lt. Candice Cobarrubias, the police department spokesperson, said Yaskoweak may have been taken to a medical facility for a mental evaluation, "in which case there would be no arrest on file."
Neighbors at the old brick building south of the Pier said the tenant who had terrorized them for 10 months with his loud and constant threats was locked out of his unit shortly after 6:30 p.m. by Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies.
The lockout and arrest culminated a prolonged battle that played out in the courts and on local newscasts as law enforcement evaluated how best to remove the hulking tenant from his first-floor unit at 3 Vicente Terrace ("Nightmare Neighbor" Poses Risk to Law Enforcement, Court Records Show," May 16, 2019).
Sheriff's Deputies -- whose previous efforts had been met with violent outbursts from the tenant -- staked out the building from a neighboring parking lot, neighbors said.
As soon as a Fed Ex truck arrived with Yaskoweak's customary delivery of boxed food, the deputies and the security guard Community Corporation had posted at the building sprung into action.
"I hear him opening his door and then running" towards the mail boxes, said Adrianne, who lives next door to Yaskoweak's unit and asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals.
"He picked up the small package. When he turned around, the security guard came out of the stairwell and blocked him," she said.
By then the deputies had arrived at the front entrance, but the door was locked. The guard let them in and they chased Yaskoweak down the hallway, Adrianne said.
Yaskoweak tripped and fell before he could reach his door and was restrained by the three deputies, she said.
Instead of bursting into one of his trademark rants, Yaskoweak calmly asked if he could retrieve a document from his unit that could stop the eviction, Adrianne said.
"They were so nice to him," she said. "I was hoping they would sneak a little punch in the back for all he had done."
Yaskoweak -- who was almost never seen or heard during his first two years in the building -- suddenly changed last July, tenants told The Lookout.
He began terrorizing neighbors, bursting into the hallway and shouting threats.
"Once it started, it was non-stop," said Jody Mascis, who lives on the third floor. "It was just so sudden.
"He was threatening to kill everyone in the building, burn down the building," Mascis said. "He would pound on the wall all night long."
One night, Yaskoweak rammed the door of the unit across the hall, breaking the door frame and forcing the tenant to sleep in his car, neighbors said.
He began banging on his walls with a mallet and threatened to rape the black woman who lived next door, using racial slurs in his rants.
Community Corporation, the Santa Monica's affordable housing provider, moved the tenant to another building and posted 24-hour security in the lobby, residents said.
The security guard began keeping a log of the times and dates when Yaskoweak screamed and when he came out into the hallway.
Yaskoweak stole the log, along with the cell phone the guard had left charging in a hallway outlet, Adrienne said.
"Every time I came out of the apartment, he would say I'm going to kill you," she said.
Andrianne said she has more than 200 audio recordings of Yaskoweak "screaming at all hours of the night."
She was so afraid of the man next door she began sleeping in the bathtub and in her car and on friends' sofas.
"I was literally homeless," she said.
When police arrived at the scene, Yaskoweak was slumped against the wall talking about the document that would allow him to stay, Adrianne said.
"The police "stood him up carefully and led him slowly towards the entrance and put him in the squad car," she said.
"He was still talking about the document."
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