LAWSUIT TARGETS ‘YELLOW HOUSE’
A prosecutor is seeking to close a rental building that it claims in a lawsuit is a nuisance, with multiple drug calls.
use, prostitution, fights and seemingly constant police calls to one Myrtle Beach home led the area’s prosecutor to ask a judge for help in shutting it down.
The Horry County solicitor’s office described the 5th Avenue North house as a “nuisance” in court paperwork.
Solicitor Jimmy Richardson filed the request in Horry County Circuit Court this week. Joe Rideoutte Jr. is the owner for 407 5th Ave. North and is named as the defendant. The home is commonly referred to as the “Yellow House” — despite being bright teal — according to court records.
The two-story house rents rooms to tenants, according to a court filing.
In 2016, the state filed a nuisance action against the home. Richardson said at that time that they thought it was the first nuisance request against a home in the Myrtle Beach area.
The nuisance label and closing requests are typically used for problematic businesses in the Grand Strand. As a result of the 2016 case, Rideoutte could resume his business, but certain conditions were to be met.
The state, in the filing, says Rideoutte has not followed those conditions since reopening earlier this year. The problems include:
Myrtle Beach police and
● medical personnel have responded five times since May for drug overdoses. Nobody has died because emergency crews adminis Drug tered Narcan to counteract the drugs.
Officers have responded to
“multiple calls” for drug use and dealing at the house since the end of March. The calls included people claiming to buy drugs and a child being taken from the home. That child later tested positive for cocaine.
Police also had multiple reports
● of fights and assaults at the Yellow House, including tenants threatening people with a razor and a hammer, and someone hitting another person with a bat.
A nearby business also described
● Yellow House tenants leaving drug trash in a parking lot, seeing prostitution, and assault victims visiting the business pleading for help.
The filing calls the activity at the Yellow House “offensive to public decency, morals, peace and health and constitutes a public nuisance.”
Officials say they gave written notice of being a nuisance home to Rideoutte on Oct. 19.
The request asks a judge to prohibit Rideoutte, people associated with him and employees from using the home. The filing also asks for permission to take possession of all the property inside the facility that is used to create the nuisance.
Rideoutte could not be reached in time for this report. One Yellow House resident said Wednesday that there were no drugs, and if there were, she “wouldn’t be living there.”
Homes or businesses with a handful of complaints are not nuisances, Richardson said. He described a nuisance as a property with so many problems that it has an impact on people who live and work nearby.
“When it’s the worst of the worst, we try to go after those,” he said.
County officials say police have responded to multiple drug calls at this 5th Avenue North house.