Lawsuit Filed in Home Invasion Homicide

Harold Howell died 11 days after being attacked in his Old Town apartment building

By Natalie Martinez
|  Friday, May 4, 2012  |  Updated 6:52 PM CDT
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Harold Howell died 11 days after being attacked in his Old Town apartment building. His daughter says the property management company didn't provide adequate security for her father and other seniors who live there. Natalie Martinez reports.

Harold Howell died 11 days after being attacked in his Old Town apartment building. His daughter says the property management company didn't provide adequate security for her father and other seniors who live there. Natalie Martinez reports.

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The daughter of a man who died 11 days after being beaten in his apartment building has filed a complaint alleging the property management company didn't provide adequate security for her father and other seniors who live there.

"It's extremely important because my father's voice needs to be heard," Shenee Howell said Friday in her attorney's office. "The bottom line is, this shouldn't have happened."

Harold Howell, a 62-year-old retired Chicago Transit Authority and Army veteran, was found beaten in the doorway of his Evergreen Tower II apartment in Old Town on April 8. His vehicle was stolen, and the beating left him so disoriented that police could not get much information about the attack from him, they said at the time.

His death was ruled a homicide.

Two months before the attack on Howell, another resident said he and his son were tortured by burglars. B.T. Gregory said his car was stolen in that attack, as well.

Shenee Howell's attorney, Todd Carcelli, said the management company, Urban Property Advisors, could have done more to secure the building.

"They had a second chance. Mr. Howell was bound by duct tape and beaten and left in a hallway, bound and duct taped as his car was stolen away. It's one thing to have a second chance. Mr. Howell doesn't have a second chance," he said.

Shenee Howell said her father installed vending machines in the building so that seniors who feared for their safety wouldn't have to leave the building for snacks and drinks.

"He did make a couple of complaints stating that somebody was trying to break into his vending machines and there was no security," she explained.

Carcelli said it's unknown how many residents in all may have been victimized.

While security cameras and signs are now visible on the property, residents said it took Howell's death to make that happen.

A spokesperson with Urban Properties said the company could not comment because the case is still under investigation. Carcelli said his client is seeking "substantial" damages.

No one is in custody in Howell's death, but police this week asked for the public's help in locating his car, a 2011 Chrysler 200 Coupe. The car is described as a black, two-door touring edition convertible with Illinois plates X734415, according to an alert from Area Central detectives.

Anyone with information should call police at (312) 747-8380.

 

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