REAL TALK From AJ Woodson

Mount Vernon’s Rat Problem Continues

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Mount Vernon — BW got calls from residents about a rat infestation on North Bond Street, Wednesday, May 11th. We went and obtained pictures and video, Wednesday and Thursday at various times of the day and reported the rat infestation story on Friday, May 13th. 90 minutes or so after the BW story went up, WABC Eyewitness News 7 called BW and met us at the scene for their story on the 11 o’clock news, which in turn brought out every other local news outlet, News 12, Fios1 News and The Journal News/ Lohud.

Last Tuesday, May 17th Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas announced the formation of the task force, comprised of civic officials and other city stakeholders. The Mount Vernon Quality of Life Task Force had a busy first week, closing down an infested, dilapidated property, exterminating a rat issue on North Bond Street, ticketing and fining dozens that failed to follow city ordinances regarding sanitary conditions. The Mayor informed, “The targets are property and business owners (OK Freddy’s Meat Market, 132 South Fourth Avenue and Mega Beverage Redemption Center, located at 121 East Third Street) with a history of violations and unpaid tickets.”

Exterminators have come through North Bond Street, traps have been laid down, signs were posted warning of the poison and the City has promised to continuously work on this problem until it is eradicated. I called Shawyn Patterson-Howard, Planning Commissioner and Acting Chief of Staff for the Thomas administration Monday to get an update or the progress and what the city plans to do next, and she had not returned my call before the posting of this article.

So BW went back to the scene to see for ourselves, what progress had been made, and much to our dismay, the problem seems to have gotten worst. It was Monday night and trash had been picked up, Monday morning. Trash cans were over flowing with garbage and cans had no lids on them and the only way I can describe what we witnessed is RAT FEST 2016. It was visibly worst. The rats seemed to have multiplied. I took several pictures and about 5 thirty second to three minute videos, see here.

Firefighters tells BW the rats are now in Fire Station #4 on Oak Street
Over the weekend, I ran into several firefighters who informed us, the rats are now inside Fire Station #4. Eyewitness News reported firefighters seeing rats coming in an out through a open window in the basement at will. The window has still not been boarded up and the rats have made their way inside now.

Rats More Prevalent Across The Street From Elementary School
We went around the corner from North Bond Street to Bleeker Street and saw huge rats right across the street from Hamilton Elementary School. While we were told of the rat’s presence when we first broke the story, this was the first time we actually spotted the rats. Some were huge ‘Mutant Size’ as two young men described them. While they preferred not to be recorded they pointed out to BW all the areas on Bleeker across from the elementary school. A few ran by us, very close to where we were standing as they were showing us.

The purpose of this editorial is to keep our promise to stay on top of this developing story until its over. We will be reaching back out to City Hall to find out what they plan to do, because one press conference and an occasional visit from a exterminator just will not do. We are way past this now and it requires immediate and continual attention. BW will not let this story fall out of the news cycle and will keep it alive until the last rat is dead.

[Editor’s note, we posted a link to the videos so those who want to see them can, photos can be shared with those who want to see them, but we decided not to post them at last minute, if you want to see the pictures as well, hit us in comment section and we will post them in a separate post!]



AJ Woodson

AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show. AJ is a Father, Brother, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Hip-Hop Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

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