Residents at Garfield Terrace Apartments, managed by Satchuel Cole, are considering the possibility of legal action against Cole after the social justice activist was outed recently for lying about being Black.
A handful of residents grabbed chairs and notebooks to meet outside Sept. 27 and discuss the issues they’ve had since moving there. Among the allegations against Cole, who uses they/them pronouns, is they take advantage of renters and haven’t taken care of rodent issues in some units.
LaSandra Jones, who moved to the south side complex in November 2019, noticed right away she had bed bugs and then saw rats in June.
“I got rats in here bigger than the dog,” she said.
Jones also said there wasn’t a stove in her unit when she moved in, and then when a stove finally came, it was just placed in her kitchen disconnected. Finally, when someone connected the stove for her, there was a slow gas leak.
Jones said Cole came into her apartment while she was gone and took documents about the gas leak. When Jones asked Cole about it, she said Cole told her those documents didn’t belong to her.
Cole said in a phone interview they can’t comment on specific units or tenants as the property manager but that there have been general communication issues.
“I’m not saying there has never been anything wrong here, but once again, you have to convey things are wrong so you can get them fixed,” Cole said. “Then you have to respond so we can come into your unit and fix it.”
Liv Satterfield, who moved to the complex in November 2018, said she fell behind on rent last year and Cole offered a discount on another unit if Satterfield agreed to clean it. She did and bought smoke bombs with her own money to get rid of roaches.
Cole, according to Satterfield, said the smoke bombs undid all of the previous work and raised her rent.
Plus, because she was doing cleaning work, Satterfield said she had a key to the office and thus possible access to anyone’s unit. Satterfield’s mother, Syvil Satterfield, was in a similar situation and also had a key to the office.
Shamanique Guider, a resident since August 2019, said Cole told her not to worry about payments at first until she started making money at her new job.
When Guider discovered mice, though, she said Cole just dropped off mouse traps. Then the water stopped working, and Guider said Cole gave her the key to another unit to shower, use the bathroom, etc., even though the unit didn’t have electricity.
Patshawna Nickeo, a resident since April 2019, also said Cole gave her access to another unit to use the shower after water from her bathtub starting leaking through the kitchen ceiling.
Some residents at the meeting said they became familiar with Cole because of their activism work. Jones’ daughter vouched for Cole, and Syvil said she was a sponsor for an event put on by DON’T SLEEP, a group Cole was a part of. Nickeo said she also knew Cole through DON’T SLEEP.
“She don’t get it,” Guider said, “but she’s about to.”
Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.