Former politician and real estate tycoon Ron Alleva was arrested for spreading toxic chemicals in a popular homeless encampment near the headquarters of his business in Anchorage, Alaska, Grubstake Auction. Alleva was charged with reckless endangerment, pollution of land/air/water and unauthorized pesticide distribution, according to KTVA.
Alleva confessed to police that he told his employees to sprinkle chlorine bleach powder through a homeless encampment that is located near Brother Francis Shelter and Bean’s Café where the homeless often receive help. Alleva has had an ongoing dispute with homeless people in the area and his been very vocal about his displeasure that they live near his property.
In the past Alleva has referred to the homeless people in the neighborhood as “vermin” and “subhuman.” They reportedly dumped at least 75 gallons of the chemical in the disputed area.
Alleva claimed that received permission from the Municipality of Anchorage, but they deny that they ever spoke with him or authorized his actions. It is unlikely that they would have authorized dumping of this chemical considering that it is designated as a hazardous chemical by the EPA.
“When improperly mixed with water Zappit off-gasses a hazardous vapor that could cause severe injury. Due to the toxic nature of Zappit, the Hazardous Materials United initiated cleanup immediately to prevent any further spreading of the product and prior to rainfall to prevent the product off-gassing and from running off into the story trains,” court documents said.
A response from Alleva’s attorney expressed no remorse about his actions, but just offered complaints about homeless people living near his business.
“They have deliberately chosen to engage in activities that are designed to attract, and that do attract, large numbers of homeless persons to the neighborhood near Mr. Alleva’s business. Those homeless persons have created massive problems in the area, including trespasses on Mr. Alleva’s property, the strewing of large amounts of garbage, including bio-hazardous materials such as syringes, used condoms, and fecal matter, on and around his property, and committing assaults on persons on and around his property,” the response said, according to KTVA.
In a later phone interview, Alleva said that he thinks he did a good thing. “It‘s E. coli, you‘re talking bedbugs, lice — I mean, everything was falling there, including street people. If you ask me straight up, I did a good thing. I have a clear conscience,” Alleva said. Bean’s Café and the Brother Francis Shelter have attempted to get a restraining order against Alleva, alleging that he threatened employees and patrons with violence, but the order was denied. Ron Alleva moved into the neighborhood several years ago when the homeless encampments had already been established in the area.
The shelter was operated for years before Alleva bought property in town and attempting to change it. According to recent reports, the city is in the process of buying land in the area from Alleva for large sums of money.