Las Vegas Sun

December 5, 2016

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Property owner arrested, removed from duplex where hoarding is alleged

A Las Vegas man whose Sun City Summerlin home has been the site of a massive cleanup operation for the past week was arrested Friday on charges relating to his hoarding.

A team of government workers has spent the week clearing out the duplex of Kenneth Epstein, 55. The duplex, 9517 Gold Bank Drive, was filled from floor to ceiling with possessions and mountains of trash in an apparent case of hoarding. A total of 55 cats, 15 of which were dead, also were found in the house.

Neighbors had complained to the city and the homeowners association about the odor emanating from the house and the debris piling up outside.

Epstein was charged Friday with six misdemeanors, including failing to register a pistol, unjustifiable injury to animals, failure to have a cat fanciers license, violating the fire code and two counts of public nuisance.

In a statement, the city of Las Vegas said Epstein was arrested because it was in the best interest of his safety. Officials and Epstein’s family hope it will be the start of an intervention process, and Epstein will undergo a psychiatric evaluation within the next three days, according to the statement.

Epstein’s home was declared an uninhabitable health hazard last week and he has been sleeping on the back patio since, even though the city offered him temporary housing.

An administrative search and abatement warrant was issued Oct. 4 allowing city staff to enter Epstein’s home and rid it of health hazards including dead animals, feces, rodents, decaying food and other contaminated possessions.

A second warrant was issued Oct. 11 allowing for the removal of contaminated dry wall, insulation, ductwork, flooring, windows and window frames.

So far, 41 tons of material have been removed from the home, the city said.

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