BEDFORD HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) – Carnell Tyus, who is paralyzed from the chest down, decided to turn the camera on and record himself on the first night of living inside his car in the parking lot of Southgate Towers in Bedford Heights.
“I was like, hopefully it will be resolved tomorrow. They’re going to give me some sort of answer. But it went on for two days, it went on for three days and I was like ‘this is too much. I can’t sleep in the car like this.'”
It was on the night of May 23 that Tyus says he returned home to find a note warning that the elevators were out of order due to a water main break.
But by the third night of living inside his car, his health took a turn for the worse.
“With me being paralyzed, I have medical issues that I go through as well,” he said.
On Wednesday morning, FOX 8 witnessed residents using the stairs inside the nine-story building. One woman had to call 911 to get out of her apartment.
“This is difficult for us. This is difficult,” resident Mimi Abiassi said.
Bedford Heights fire were called there initially when the elevators went down. They say they’ve been back several times since.
“I was like, ‘if I get upstairs, I’m stuck upstairs. That means I’m gonna miss work, or if there’s a fire or anything, I can’t get out of the building’ and I didn’t want to put myself in that position,” Tyus said.
Southgate Towers’ general counsel told FOX 8 the delay to get the parts to fix the elevators is out of their control.
“A lot of the companies that provided the parts for the elevators were closed for the holiday and they weren’t able to get the parts as quickly as they may otherwise do,” Fred Carmen said.
Since being released from the hospital for circulation issues, Tyus checked himself into a hotel for $111 a night.
Management says they will reimburse him and help any other residents who may be in need.
“We have had elderly resident to call us and say, ‘hey, we can’t carry our groceries upstairs.’ Sent maintenance technicians to carry their groceries upstairs,” said Carmen.
Still, for Tyus, Wednesday will be night four in a hotel and eight nights total of not being able to enter his fifth floor apartment.
“I understand that you’re gonna pay me back, but what if I didn’t have the funds right at the moment? Then what?” he said.