Kids started throwing rocks and bricks at the dentist's Forman Street home three years ago.
At first Dr. Quintin B. Bullock was able to deal with the ache of finding an occasional window shattered when he returned home at night from work, but last Friday night proved too much.
Twelve of the 16 doubled-paned windows in his two-story Schiller Park home were shattered, aluminum siding was marred and aluminum-window awnings dented.
The cost of the wreckage was estimated at several thousand dollars, but it could wind up costing city residents even more.
Bullock is now thinking twice about his plans to open a dental clinic in a vacant doughnut shop on Genesee Street near Zelmer Street.
The 38-year-old Houston, Texas, native who worked as a high school administrator before achieving a lifelong dream of becoming a dentist, has been working as a dean at a Rochester community college to save money to open a dental clinic.
"There's a clear need for minority dentists on the East Side, and I was hoping to start a practice so people wouldn't have to travel outside their neighborhoods for dental service," Bullock said this week. "But now I'm seriously rethinking my plans and considering moving out of Buffalo."
Bullock moved here in 1989 to finish his post-doctoral work in dentistry. He intentionally bought a lower-priced house three years ago to avoid a large mortgage and be in a better position to save more quickly for the clinic.
But, it didn't take long for Bullock to realize that Forman Street had its problems because of its close proximity to a Conrail right of way no longer used by trains, but frequented by youths.
"The tracks have been removed,
but the stones are still up there and the youths will stand at the top of the right of way and throw stones, bricks and whatever else they can get, at my house and others on the street," he said Thursday.
Bullock and his neighbors filed numerous complaints with elected city officials and police, but the vandalism has worsened, he said.
Until Friday, he tapped into his own funds to pay for window repairs. But because of the extensive vandalism, he filed a claim with his homeowner's insurance.
The repair work was not even completed when vandals struck again on Wednesday, breaking two more windows.
Fed up, Bullock wants fencing installed to block access to the Conrail property.
Lovejoy Council Member David J. Czajka, whose district includes that area, understands the dentist's frustration and has called Conrail officials.
"It's a chronic problem. Youngsters use the railroad property as a shortcut and once they get up there, they throw debris. It's also tough for cops to get at the kids when they're up there," Czajka said.
A fence, he thinks, would not help.
What's needed, he says, is a prickly type of dense shrubbery.
"It's hard to break a habit of using a shortcut and if a fence goes up, that won't stop the youths. I think the best thing would be prickly shrubs that would deter movement," Czajka said.
Carol Yupco, a Conrail spokeswoman, said the railroad is looking into the possibility of increasing its police patrols in that area and posting no trespassing signs.
Of Bullock possibly leaving the city and taking his dental-clinic plans with him, the Council member said:
"He's obviously the kind of person the city can ill afford to lose, and we'll certainly do our best to get something done for him."