After the death of Audra Sue Doak (also known as Audra Richardson) of 15 Allen Street, Gloversville, NY on Friday, residents organized to put an end to the historical drug activity that has plagued the area for almost a decade.
One such resident, Hank McGrath of Heritage Ministry, 17 Allen St. 2nd fl., described how he answered the plea of his friend and property owner, Mohammed Ali Kahn, whose chief concern was the infestation of drug dealers and users who, under false pretenses, may rent from him and then set up shop. His concern was that his property no longer falls into the hands of drug abusers and Rev. McGrath moved in with the intention to strengthen the neighborhood bond while compelling drug dealers from using 17 Allen or neighboring properties to hurt and harm the neighborhood.
On May 2, 2016, OceanMarie Foster, a 20 year old mother of twins, died under mysterious circumstances which included the finding of heroin in the very apartment Rev. McGrath now resides.
“Folks may believe drug use and sales in their neighborhood does not affect them if they keep to themselves, but, we should not be living like we are in prison, McGrath said.
We need to be more proactive against the blight of immoral character in our neighborhoods.
Drug dealers seek to prey on those who fall into addiction as a money source to continue their oppression of our neighborhoods, with little concern for children and families or the long term affect their illegal activity causes in communities. We need to stop simply observing the drug activity and, instead, become active in ridding the community of the blight one street at a time, McGrath stated.
McGrath is also an investigative reporter and director of VOP-FreedomMedia.
Shawn Ostrander of 21 Allen St. 2nd fl., returned home on Friday after the police initially investigated the death of Audra Sue Doak and while cleaning his apartment he found a package of needles and drug paraphernalia hidden under his stove. He quickly realized this was not there the day before meaning someone with access to his apartment hid the supplies there after the police left the area. He immediately called the police and announced in public that not only has he called the police but he will continue to do so as long as heroin and crack remain on the block.
“I have lost friends and family to overdose. I have seen this destroy neighborhoods and lives of those I loved like Audra. This is it. Its over. All the dealers must go and I don’t care what it takes to get rid of them. I announced my position on Facebook. My neighbors, the families, their children must be able to be free from this terrible poison”, he stated as he wiped away the tears of sadness for the loss of his friend.
Several residents met with local authorities on Friday afternoon to identify known dealers and/or users of heroin and crack on the block. Problem is, many stated, the police already know who the dealers are.
Jodi Green, of 17 Allen St. 1st. Fl., a hard working mother of 3 children, was shocked into action Friday after noon when her 10 year old son came running home to get her saying his grandmother would not wake up. The lad found her in the bathroom of her apartment at 15 Allen St. seconds before. He also called 911. “We are heart broken with the loss of Audra. My son is traumatized. Audra’s family is in pain with the loss of Audra. We all have problems. That aside, Audra was a very kind and high spirited person who would give the shirt off her back to help others. My children are in terrible pain over this. Anyone who says they are not affected by what happens in our neighborhood is simply wrong. To dismiss this as an overdose gives the dealer a free walk to kill some more.”
Frank Laraby, also of 17 Allen, 1st. Fl., and an ordained minister with Heritage Ministry, was one of the first on the scene and attempted to give CPR to his sister-in-law, Audra, with the help of her boyfriend, Brandon, to no avail. “The scene was terrible. I have to live with this the rest of my life. I did everything I could to desperately revive Audra. It is heartbreaking. She was just smiling and buying things for the kids a half hour before. Her family is devastated. This was not intentional. Certainly this was not suicide. In my opinion, someone sold her some bad stuff and it killed her instantly. Neither Narcan nor CPR could revive her. She got a “hot shot”, he stated.
Though medical emergency, fire department and police arrived swiftly, nothing could turn back the hands of time or reverse the damage done when the dealer placed the heroine in Audra’s addicted hands…
Other residents expressed their concern with the fact there are some homeowners on the street who claim to be uninvolved with drugs but actually allow, promote, condone and give refuge to dealers in return for “benefits” they receive from the dealers and drug users. Neighbors claim they have witnessed extensive drug activity at one premises for years and that home owner actually provides a nest for drug addicts and dealers to rest their wings and do their trade in the neighborhood. When confronted, this individual (who remains unnamed), claims she absolutely knows nothing and then invokes the fact she is friends with a local judge who allegedly protects her. She BOASTS this…
Citizens have questioned whether a local police practice of a “hands off approach” to someone who provides them with information may backfire and, instead, cause the informant to feel protected. So protected they provide drug activity 24hrs a day, LIVE ON CAMERA, without any police interference or arrests. With overdoses and deaths rising in the community police should receive more help from the citizens than from informants. An informant will , most times, tell on only who they do not like and act illegally, at least in their mind, under the protective shield of the law.
“Lets face it, when a city is suffering such a serious problem as heroin and crack in their neighborhoods NOONE SHOULD GET A BREAK. The streets need to be cleaned up every day with no mercy. At the same time, friends and family members of drug addicts need to compel the addict to get help immediately. The high isn’t worth a life lost. Nor is it worth imprisoning families in neighborhoods where we are all to be free to live in a positive and supportive way.
While residents mourned the loss of Audra, Hank McGrath, Director of Heritage Ministry, organized a group for the residents called “NeighborhoodsAgainstDrugs” which plans to meet with city hall on the issue of drug abuse deaths and overdose, as well as the problem of heroin and crack drug dealers in the City of Gloversville.
“This cannot continue where residents are compelled to look the other way while drug dealers permeate their neighborhoods. I am aware of the pipeline of heroin that travels from Vermont through Western NY and into the Capital District. This is not a small situation of someone getting their hands on a little heroin. This is an entire operation with many players on every level going through and residing in the Fulton County area. While authorities attempt to stem the pipeline residents need to do their duty to protect their neighborhoods by reporting this drug activity as it happens in their neighborhoods,” McGrath stated.
“Selling heroine and crack is not freedom. It’s the greatest element of evil against freedom and a greater threat to freedom than the police or government may seem to be. We can fight for our rights against police misconduct and wrongful government intrusions in our lives, but you have no rights when it comes to “THE PUSHERMAN”, said McGrath.
It is odd…on her way up the street moments before she died, Audra stopped at a neighbors sale and happily bought a beautiful set of suitcases evidently for a cool trip she was planning to take…She never got to pack…
A Candlelight vigil for Audra Sue Doak (Audra Richardson) is scheduled for Monday, July 24, 2017, 8 pm at 15 Allen Street, Gloversville, NY. The public is welcome to attend. Rain date will be Tuesday at 8 pm.
To learn more of “NeighborhoodsAgainstDrugs” and to support contact Rev. Hank McGrath at 752-9928