Harvey Lembo, a 67-year-old resident of Rockland, ME, was awoken late Monday night to find an intruder in his apartment rifling through his medications. Lembo told the intruder to "sit down while (he) called police," otherwise he would "blow his brains out." The intruder chose not to sit, and instead fled, and Lembo shot him in the shoulder. Now, Lembo is being told by his landlord that his gun has to go.
Lembo, who is disabled and uses a motorized wheelchair, had been robbed four times in the six years he had lived in his apartment, with thieves targeting cash and his prescription drugs. Fed up with being unable to defend himself, he purchased a revolver earlier on Monday. Hours later, his purchase most certainly came in handy. Despite the fact that his gun likely saved his life earlier this week, rules of his apartment complex state that he can't have one. While Lembo calls this policy "bull," he has agreed to comply. He's a sitting duck once again.
Park Place Apartments is managed by Stanford Management Co. of Portland. Russ Gagne, director of finance, said the firearm prohibition is part of the house rules for living in the apartments, and tenants sign a lease that requires they adhere to house rules.
“This is to ensure the safety of all tenants,” Gagne said.
He said owners and managers of private rental units can prohibit firearms. He said most multifamily housing developments have such prohibitions. Stanford manages about 1,500 units in Maine, he said.
I mean, I understand it's within the landlord's right to do this, but this seems a bit absurd. Clearly the safety of the tenants is already jeopardized if one man has been robbed numerous times. Lembo did a far better job at protecting himself and his property than any existing security system.
Additionally, it's kind of dangerous to publicize that Lembo, who is in possession of medicines that people routinely steal, is unarmed. A simple Google search will reveal precisely where in Rockland his apartment complex is located. This isn't good.
Making sure disabled elderly crime victims are unarmed will not make the town or apartment complex any safer. This policy could potentially cost people their lives.