Supporters allege woman evicted for calling 911 too much

Kate Ryan,

WASHINGTON – Polly Roopnarine was in the habit of calling the police. A lot. Sources close to the 69-year-old say the Gaithersburg woman was convinced that she was being followed and that someone was constantly spraying her with a noxious substance.

Art Silverman, who contacted WTOP on behalf of her family, says that calling 911 too often led to her eviction.

Montgomery County Police don’t carry out evictions, and referred WTOP to the Sheriff’s Department. Officials there said they could only confirm that a writ had been issued back in August and that an eviction was indeed being carried out. They referred WTOP to the Housing Opportunities Commission, which owns the apartment where Roopnarine lived in a subsidized unit.

But HOC offiicals said that they did not move for eviction. Instead, a management company did. Contacted by WTOP, a Ross Management employee said they could not give out any information on tenants.

Sources familiar with Roopnarine’s case said they could not comment officially, but that a variety of county agencies had worked with Roopnarine for years and that she had once been homeless, living in a car and, for a short time, in a storage unit. Other than making the calls to 911, they say she had transitioned into apartment living fairly well.

Sources also say that while the eviction did take place, Roopnarine was not “put out on the street.” She’s been housed in a hotel for now, and there is a plan to get her into long-term housing.

Her daughter, Uma Maedke, says that’s news to her. As far as she knows, her mother had a one-night stay in the hotel, and her things have been stored for up to a month.

Maedke, who lives in California, says she can’t pay for her mother’s care, and her mother says she has nowhere else to go.

Asked about that, sources close to the case say Roopnarine will not end up on the street, that they will continue to make sure that she has some place to call home.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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