Sunday, June 08, 2008

Landlord Accused Of Using Racial Slur

Woman Upset Over Phone Message From Property Owner

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A woman looking to rent a house said she was shocked when she received a phone message containing a racial slur.

Niccole Fountain wants to move out of her apartment into a house. But she said there is one landlord with whom she won't do business after he left her a disturbing phone message late last month.

Fountain said she was mad enough to call police and KMBC 9 News.

"I was just stunned because I didn't know what to say," Fountain told KMBC's Jere Gish.

Fountain said it started when she noticed a "for rent" sign in front of a house near 12th Street and Ohio Avenue in Kansas City, Kan.

Fountain said she called the phone number listed and the property manager agreed to show her the house.

But there was a misunderstanding about how they would meet up, Fountain said.

"He said he would call to confirm if he would make it back there at 2 o'clock. This man did not call me until around 3 o'clock that Friday, so I assumed he did not want to show the property," Fountain said.

Apparently, the property manager was waiting at the house for Fountain and felt stood up.

Fountain said the next day, she received two messages on her cell phone from a man identifying himself as the owner of the house.

"Yeah, Niccole, this is Jeff Anderson again, the owner of the house on Ohio Street," the phone message said.

Anderson said he wanted an explanation for why Fountain didn't show up at the house.

Fountain said on the second message, Fountain turned nasty.

"You sound like you're a n****r, just a worthless piece of s***," the message said. "Obviously, you're too stupid to understand what we do for a living. All you live for and all you think about 24/7, 365 is who you're going to scam next, who you're going to rip off next, how much you can get away with. That's why you'll never be anything more than a worthless piece of s***."

Fountain said she just couldn't believe it.

"He don't know anything about me, never seen me before, just makes me feel like I don't want to be like that," Fountain said.

Now, she wants to warn others about her experience.

"That just goes to show you how he feels about African-Americans, and if you can't rent to African-Americans, you don't need to be renting to anyone," Fountain said.

Gish contacted the property owner several times in the past week asking for comment, but Anderson didn't return the calls.

The property manager told KMBC that Anderson owns several properties and that he has African-American tenants.

Fountain filed a police report. The incident is being investigated as a case of telephone harassment, which is a misdemeanor. It would also be classified as a hate crime.

Fountain said police have sent the property owner a letter about the case.

Source: KMBC

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