Disabled veteran concerned about safety due to overgrown alley

RICHMOND, Va. – Jeffery Oliver says he deals with overgrown trees and vegetation in the alley leading to the back of his South Richmond home on a daily basis.

"I think I'm doing rather well under my condition because I am a prisoner in my own home and that's terrible," said Oliver.

The disabled veteran is a double amputee and uses a wheel chair and a ramp to get around.

"I'm depressed by not having legs. So, you can imagine how I feel," Oliver added.

Jeffery Oliver

Jeffery Oliver

Oliver says the situation is frustrating because the vegetation nearly covers the path in the alley to his home.

The Richmond man also relies on others for transportation to get him to and from the VA hospital.

"When I'm going through that alley, especially if my windows are open, the branches will smack me in the face," said Oliver.

Oliver worries for his safety if there's an emergency.

"Anything can happen... If I had a fire and I couldn't get out of the front, I would have to come out this way," he said.

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Oliver says he complained to the City of Richmond insisting they do something about it.

"What did they tell you," asked CBS 6 reporter Sandra Jones.

"They told me that they'll give me a number to call. And yes, this and that. And well, we'll get to it when we can. But it's the same old run around," said Oliver.

That’s when he reached out to CBS 6 Problem Solvers.

CBS 6 reached out to Sharon North with Richmond's department of Public Works.

North explained in an email that the vegetation in the alley is divided between the city of Richmond and homeowners.

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As a result of our inquiry, city crews have cleaned up the alley.

CBS 6 also found out Richmond's code enforcement could issue a summons to a homeowner, if they don't clean up their properties in the alley. The summons could result in misdemeanor which can carry a year in jail and a fine.

As for Oliver, he's thankful to finally see some results.

"I sincerely appreciate you coming out here because this was some fast action that you and your photojournalist have done. I certainly appreciate channel 6," said Oliver.

CBS 6 News is working for you. Click here to email a tip to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers. Be sure to leave us your name, phone number and detailed description of the problem. You can also leave a message by calling 804-254-3672.