Local News

Nov 22, 2013 7:18 PM

Neighbors Defend Annaville 'Fence Lady'

CORPUS CHRISTI - Herlinda Nunez left her home in handcuffs Thursday afternoon and police took her to Christus Spohn hospital. City officials tell us she was taken in for an evaluation.

Some neighbors say Nunez whose towering fence is a nuisance is a sweet woman. Margaret and Manolito Quinones live on Eastwood Drive and know Nunez.

They first met about a year and a half ago when Manolito offered her some help carrying her groceries home.

"(Herlinda) is a really nice lady," Margaret said. "She's every sweet and she's always really kind. you could just tell she may not have been well."

She said Nunez may not like being removed fromher home, but admit it is for the best.

"I know that that's a good thing because she needs the help, but I feel bad for her because I know she didn't want that kind of invasion into her privacy. But yeah, she does need the help."

Since they first met, they've developed a sort of friendship based on one-way phone calls, from Nunez to Quinones, asking for help when she needed it.

Quinones was not surprised to hear police had a hard time getting inside the house.

She said that when Manolito, who declined an interview, would help with the groceries, Herlinda Nunez would stop him at the threshold.

City officials plan to evaluate her house inside and out to determine what steps should be taken.

Assistant City Manager Susan Thorpe said the case is raising eyebrows, and questions, at city hall.

She said many are asking whether state property rights laws hinder the city from handling its toughest code violations.

"We could take code enforcement violations to court everyday of the week, which we do, and if they are granted a continuance, repeatedly, or if they are given community service...or pay a fine... our system does not allow us to go fix the problem," Thorpe told KRIS 6 News on Friday.

She said the city needs more authority to take down nuisance violations, like Nunez's barbed wire topped fence, when owners refuse to do it themselves.

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