Landlord Arrested for Allegedly Hiring People to Kick Out an Elderly Tenant

A landlord in Olney is charged with trying to forcefully kick out an elderly renter and her son who the landlord claimed was behind on her rent.

photo of Martin Winepol and Garfield Johnson

Martin Winepol and Garfield Johnson
Photo | Montgomery County Police

Police arrested Martin Winepol, 71, of the 17700 block of Cashell Road in Olney, who owns the home at 17700 block of Cashell Road in Olney. According to police, on Aug. 6 at about 8:51 p.m., officers responded to a home in the 17700 block of Cashell Road for a suspicious situation. The Emergency Communications Center had received two calls about a woman screaming for help and banging on the window of a neighbor’s house.

Officers responded to the home and found the 72-year-old woman who had been screaming for help. The woman told police that she and her 50-year-old son rent a basement room in Winepol’s home where Winepol lives with his wife. At about 8:30 p.m. that evening, the renter stated that she walked into her bedroom and saw four unknown men and one woman standing in the doorway to an interior room. The group allegedly prevented the elderly woman from attempting to close her bedroom door and yelled at her to take her belongings and get out of the apartment. The renter and her son were allegedly grabbed by some of the people and told that the landlord said they had to, “go and pack their stuff.” The group then pushed the woman and her son out of the home and broke the woman’s phone as she attempted to call 9-1-1, according to police. Police said members of the group then took the male victim’s phone and left the home.

Officers spoke with other tenants who were home at the time of the incident. One renter stated that Winepol had told him earlier in the day that he was going to pay people to force tenants out of the home and that the renter should stay in his room, according to the police press release. Police said another renter stated that Winepol told her that there would be people screaming and yelling at the home that night and that she should not come out of the home.

According to the police release, Winepol paid Garfield Johnson, 50, of the 1700 block of Wycliff Avenue in Parkville, $1,000 to scare and force the two renters who allegedly were late in paying in their rent, out of the home.

Winepol turned himself in to police on Aug. 12. Winepol is charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit robbery, and conspiracy to commit second-degree assault. Johnson was arrested without incident in Parkville on Aug. 13. He is charged with first-degree burglary, robbery, two counts of second-degree assault, and conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary and robbery.

During the investigation, the 4th District Community Service Officer and Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs Housing Code Enforcement Inspectors met with Winepol to inspect his single-family home. During the inspection of the home, it was determined thatWinepol was running a rooming/boarding home. The home included four, illegal accessory apartments and five separate kitchens. It was occupied by 15 people at the time of the incident. On that day, DHCA condemned the entire property. All occupants were ordered to vacate the property until the home was converted back to a single-family dwelling.

The four remaining suspects in this case, three males and one female, have not been identified. Anyone with information about the unidentified suspects involved in this case is asked to call Officer Sharif Hidayat at the 4th District: 240.773.5500. Callers may remain anonymous.

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Krista Brick

About Krista Brick

Krista Brick is a multi-media journalist with Montgomery Community Media.


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