New York landlord accused of kidnapping tenants to evict them

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A New York landlord is out on bail after being arrested and accused of kidnapping tenants from his property and dumping them in a cemetery 30 miles away.

The two tenants accused landlord Shawn Douglas of kidnapping them while armed from their home at his property in the South End neighborhood of Albany.

In the police report, the two accusers say they were abducted, restrained with zip ties and covered with pillowcases. They then claim Douglas dumped them off in a rural cemetery in the town of Ghent.

One person was able to free themselves from the restraints to seek help at a nearby house.

“He’s lucky they came out of that alive. They could have froze to death out there,” said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.

Douglas was reportedly frustrated he couldn’t evict the victims from his property because of a statewide ban on evictions caused by the pandemic. Apple said despite frustrations from landlords, there’s a legal system in place.

“My advice to both parties is to be patient. You have to be tolerant. There is a process. I didn’t invent it, so don’t call down to the sheriff’s office screaming and yelling like everybody has for the last 12 months,” Apple said.

The ban on evictions in New York expires May 1. As landlords wait for their day in court, eviction requests continue to grow. Meanwhile, the sheriff’s hands remained tied.

“We know right now, we have upwards of 100 [eviction requests], and we know there’s hundreds basically in the filing ready to go at city court, town court,” Apple said.

The Albany Police Department has not released further details about this case, but more people could be charged in connection with the alleged kidnapping.

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