In a shocking turn of events, an Augusta man, Arthur Anthony, has taken legal action following the tragic drive-by shooting that claimed the life of his 8-year-old daughter at the Dogwood Terrace public housing complex. Anthony has filed a lawsuit against the city and its housing authority, asserting that they failed to provide adequate security measures to prevent such a devastating incident.
Anthony’s legal team, anticipating the gravity of the case, has stated that the claim could amount to approximately $20 million, as outlined in a legal notice preceding the lawsuit.
The incident, which occurred on January 8, 2022, served as a poignant wake-up call, shedding light on the toll of violent crime on innocent victims. Arbrie Anthony, while innocently petting a horse that had been brought to Dogwood Terrace, tragically became a victim of the shooting. Although authorities believe she was not the intended target, she succumbed to her injuries shortly after being shot and passed away at a local hospital.
The lawsuit raises several claims, particularly highlighting the defendants’ failure to implement controlled access, active security deterrents, adequate lighting, and other measures aimed at significantly reducing the threat of crime within the complex.
According to the lawsuit, representatives of the defendants had previously assured that the complex would feature a gate, fence, and robust security to ensure secure access and transform Dogwood Terrace into a gated community. However, investigations reveal that the complex lacked both a gate and security personnel, a stark contradiction to the initial promises made.
Anthony’s lawyers, in a letter addressed to the city, further assert that Dogwood Terrace failed to provide active security deterrents, video cameras, adequate lighting, or any other crime-reducing measures. Additionally, the absence of surveillance warning signs aimed at dissuading potential criminals aggravated the situation.
The lawyers stated, “The complex failed to have a consistent security presence that would have undoubtedly reduced the amount of violent crimes and even perhaps prevented the murder of Arbrie Anthony.”
As the defendants held exclusive control and management of the complex, they were legally obligated to maintain a safe environment for residents and visitors, including Arbrie Anthony, the lawsuit emphasizes.
Despite being aware of the alarming rate of murder in the vicinity of the apartment building, the defendants neglected to take reasonable precautions to safeguard the complex’s occupants, thereby exhibiting a lack of care and conscious indifference to the potential consequences, according to the lawsuit.
In addition to compensatory damages sought for the loss of Arbrie’s life, medical expenses, pain and suffering, funeral and burial costs, punitive damages are being pursued due to the defendants’ alleged negligence. The lawsuit also includes a request for attorney fees.
While the main defendant in the case is the Housing Authority of the City of Augusta, the lawsuit names the city as an additional defendant as a precautionary measure due to the authority’s claim of sovereign immunity. The lawsuit highlights the contradiction between the authority’s assertion of being a public entity and its own admission on its website that it operates independently from the city, overseen by a separate private board.
The legal battle unfolds as Arthur Anthony seeks justice for his daughter’s tragic loss and aims to hold the responsible parties accountable for their alleged negligence in providing adequate security measures at the Dogwood Terrace public housing complex.