Two arrested for illegal tire dumping; residents say more must be done

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans Police are investigating an illegal tire dumping.

Already two men are facing charges after police say they nabbed the pair, Saturday, driving a stolen U-Haul in New Orleans East.

While investigators say more arrests are expected, residents in the area say more needs to be done about the dumping near their neighborhood.

They say they've seen it all, from tires and old sofas to appliances and furniture. Residents say people dump anything on Michoud near I-10 in New Orleans East.

"It's been that way since after Katrina, I guess," said resident Willy Kirkland.

Kirkland said it became increasingly steady once a developer started clearing out the land on Michoud, near the Oak Island neighborhood.

Now, Kirkland and others say it's constant.

"I've actually seen people dumping," Kirkland said.

Saturday, someone else spotted it. Two men in a U-Haul illegally dumping tires right down the road from the Oak Island neighborhood.

Police responded and found the pair on the 6000 block of Hayne Boulevard.

Fifty-six-year-old Bryant Ballard and 44-year-old Leonard Patterson were taken into custody, charged with illegal tire dumping and illegal possession of the stolen U-Haul they used to do it.

What's more, investigators say Ballard already had an outstanding warrant, accused in several other tire dumping incidents.

"It's very frustrating to have a hazard like that so close to the subdivision," said Oak Island Homeowner Association President Lynette Sparrow.

Neighbors say the arrests are little consolation. They say they fear what would happen if those tires were to ever catch fire. Yet, they say they're even more concerned nothing has been done to stop illegal dumping, as a whole.

"It's like talking to a brick wall. We send emails, nothing is done. We have had meetings with the councilman. Nothing is done," said Sparrow. "We just want you to keep us safe."

"I can't understand why it's so hard to get enforcement," Kirkland said.

FOX 8 reached out to current councilor James Gray and Council-Elect Cindy Nguyen, but we have yet to hear back from either.

The State of Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality is also partnering in the NOPD illegal tire dumping investigation.

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