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Lafayette police arrest 10 people and collect 124 needles from one home

Ten people arrested and 124 needles found inside a home in Lafayette.

Posted: Feb. 1, 2018 6:34 PM
Updated: Feb. 1, 2018 6:37 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Ten people arrested and 124 needles found inside a home in Lafayette. It all happened Tuesday but this isn't the first time police were called to this location. Neighbors want the man living there evicted.

"You can ask any police officer in town and they'll know about Roger Johnson's house," said Johnson's next door neighbor Nate Cushman. 

Roger Johnson is one of the ten people arrested after police were tipped to his home on 126 S. 28th Street Tuesday.

"You need to go," said Cushman to Johnson.

News 18 stood by as the two exchanged words on S. 28th Street Thursday morning. 

Johnson is out of jail now but wouldn't go on camera to talk about the incident.

Police say they were called to Johnson's home in search of a person wanted on a warrant.

"It's like a flop house," said Cushman. "There's a constant rotation of new people coming in and just crashing there."

Cushman has lived in the neighborhood with Johnson for ten years. 

"We were very friendly for a long time and then over time it's just gotten worse and worse," said Cushman. "The police are just over here all of the time."

Within the past five years, Lafayette police have been called to this house more than 100 times, according to police call log records.

"I feel very unsafe," said Cushman. "That's why I feel very adamant about this, that's why I got a petition from everyone in the neighborhood."

The letter and petition is directed at the owners of the home, who are related to Johnson.

Cushman said they have yet to make Johnson move out but Cushman is ready to take further action.

"I'll do whatever I have to, to protect my family," said Cushman. 

Donald Shuck lives a few doors down. He's worried about the 124 needles police found inside that home and other needles he's personally discovered in the area recently.

"I found some needles over here by the fence," said Shuck. 

Police said the needles they found in Johnson's home were from the Tippecanoe County Needle Exchange Program. Shuck said he doesn't like the exchange and Johnson told News 18 he doesn't agree with the program either.

"It don't seem to do any good," said Shuck. "All you're doing is helping them shoot up more."

Shuck is worried about others in the neighborhood.

"You know those kids walk through here, come home from school, so they could pick them up and stuff," said Shuck. 

Neighbors hope something can be done to stop unlawful activity here.

"It's a nice little working class neighborhood, with good people," said Cushman. "Just wanting to get along with our lives and be good to each other and we have to live next to this garbage."

We asked Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski about this incident.

He said it's against the law to evict Rogers under these circumstances. However, Roswarski said neighbors are doing the right thing by staying vigilant.

Roswarski said police will continue to respond and keep a close eye on that area. They already have sent crime prevention officers there to try to combat the problem. 

The mayor was not surprised by the needles found in that home.

He continues to voice his concerns about the Syringe Exchange Program and stresses the importance of a strict one-to-one exchange.

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