By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
The latest news reported by WTKR 3 News: following Jonathan Cromwell’s arrest on 2nd degree murder charges involved in the shooting death of Jiansheng Chen, River Walk Community Association has canceled its contract with Citywide Protection Services.
According to the report, several homeowners say that Citywide security guards have always been armed and aggressive. Most homeowners were not even aware that the Community had contracted with a security company.
River Walk HOA has released a statement claiming that its contract with Citywide, initiated in 2010, stipulates uniformed and unarmed guards. Citywide denies that claim, and insists its contract allowed for armed officers at River Walk.
But neither the HOA nor Citywide has been willing to share a copy of that contract.
Cromwell’s attorney continues to say that his client shot Chen in self defense.
Chesapeake HOA fires security company after guard charged in death of Pokemon Go player
POSTED 11:46 AM, FEBRUARY 22, 2017, BY MERRIS BADCOCK, UPDATED AT 11:45AM, FEBRUARY 23, 2017
CHESAPEAKE, Va. – A boat ramp, and a club house: two areas in the River Walk neighborhood of Chesapeake that used to be heavily patrolled by guards from Citywide Protection Services, until Tuesday night.
According to a spokesperson for the River Walk Community Association, the security contract with Citywide was cancelled late Tuesday night.
The cancellation comes after a 21-year-old Citywide security guard, Johnathan Cromwell, was charged with 2nd degree murder after police say he shot and killed a 60-year-old man, Jiansheng Chen, who lived in the neighborhood.
Read more (VIDEO):
It’s disturbing that many homeowners did not even know they were paying for private security. Those residents who had encounters with an armed officer of Citywide apparently had no idea that their HOA could have signed a contract for unarmed guards.
Did River Walk HOA ever notify or inform owners about its contract with Citywide Protection Services? If so, when were owners notified, and what were they told? What about tenants of River Walk? Were they not entitled to know about the presence of Security in the association?
Were owners and residents made aware of their rights with respect to encounters with private security guards – armed or unarmed?
Were there no periodic security reports made available to homeowners and residents? Were residents made aware of contact information for their paid security officers?
A contract with Citywide Protection Services would be considered an official record of the Association. Did any owner ever make a records request to see the Citywide contract?
No doubt, this will be a high profile criminal prosecution, most likely followed by a civil lawsuit.
Depending upon the outcome of the case, legal defense costs to be passed onto River Walk property owners could be substantial.