Mother and 5-year-old hide from handcuffed fugitive at crime-plagued complex

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by Drew Karedes / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on August 21, 2013 at 10:48 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 22 at 12:49 PM

Mint at Dairy Ashford

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HOUSTON -- A woman’s close encounter with a violent stranger is shedding new light on some old problems at her apartment complex.

It happened back on Friday night around 8:30 p.m. at the Mint Apartments on Dairy Ashford Road near Bellaire. The complex is one that police know all too well.

The Harris County Attorney’s Office served a lawsuit on the complex back in May, calling it a “dangerous crime haven”.

Over the past two years, police have responded to more than 2,000 calls to the complex. That adds up to almost three a day.

This time, a mother’s quick thinking helped police catch a criminal.

Houston Police said officers were attempting to arrest suspect Ladell Shaw during a narcotics investigation. Shaw reportedly tossed a bag which sent officers searching.

According to police, Shaw managed to run away while in handcuffs.

Not long after that, Felicia Dungy says she saw a man at the bottom of her stairwell. She said he immediately began running up the stairs when he saw her.

“He was coming very quick. I hurried up and slammed the door,” Dungy said. “Seriously I thought he was going to get in and kill me.”

Dungy said the man, later identified as Ladell Shaw, was repeatedly banging on her door and her windows.

She grabbed her 5-year-old son, and the two hid in the kitchen.

“[He was] banging on the window and door hard,” said 5-year-old Nehemiah Dungy. “He was like open the door now.”

Dungy said she first tried to contact security through the front office directory and was transferred to a company that no longer provides service to the complex.

She then dialed 911 and waited for about 30 minutes.

Police eventually closed in and arrested Shaw on charges of felony escape and possession of a controlled substance.

“I think he would’ve killed me. It’s honestly nothing but God that kept us safe through this situation because there was nothing else in place to keep us safe,” Dungy said.

Dungy feels her complex did nothing to protect her. She questions if newly installed security cameras even work.

She said her complex still has not called her back or informed other residents about what happened.

The apartment complex manager declined to go on camera, but claims she was not aware of Dungy’s encounter with a fugitive.

The manager told KHOU 11 News she is working 12-hour days and doing everything she can to keep residents safe.

She said the complex has hired off-duty officers to patrol the property, added security cameras that are functional and installed a fence and better lighting.

She went on to say that the Mint Apartments hold a crime watch meeting monthly and few residents have been attending.

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