She tormented her neighbors for months. Here’s what it took to make them feel safe.

Every day when Everett Mason returned home to his Long Beach apartment complex, he said a little prayer.

“I pray this isn’t the day she decides to shoot through her window. She has the first apartment. She sees everything,” he said. “I’m a sitting target.”

She is Lorrene Mae Lake, Mason’s “demonic” neighbor on the first floor of a complex on East 2nd Street in Long Beach, who terrorized him and other residents with racial taunts and late-night harassment for months. Lake, 58, was arraigned Monday on six counts of making criminal threats, one count of violating civil rights for her neighborly behavior and other charges, LA County Dist. atty announced George Gascon. Investigators found a gun in her apartment.

But their Aug. 12 arrest by Long Beach police came after months of residents like Mason agitating with police and property management to take action against Lake, he said.

Mason, a black writer who moved into the complex in December, spearheaded efforts to stop the harassment he and other residents were experiencing at the hands of Lake, he said. And when authorities seemed to do nothing, Mason took his grievances to social media, posting videos of Lake’s threatening behavior. His video was picked up by a major TikTok account, @Tizzyent, whose own video about Lake garnered nearly 500,000 views.

“I’m seeing this more and more often, stuff like that gets pushed aside and lasts until a bunch of people like me put it online,” said the creator of the viral video.

After initially getting a bad vibe from Lake and keeping his distance, Mason became one of her primary targets after sweeping up glass she smashed for no reason in the complex’s common room, he said.

She began threatening to kill him, spraying water in his apartment, painting swastikas on walls, using racial slurs when she spoke to him, and playing music late into the night, Mason claimed.

“I felt like the police and property management were waiting for me or someone else to die or be seriously injured before they took it seriously,” Mason told the Times.

The worst interaction came when Mason once called 911 in Lake and she bit him, spat on him and called him a racist slur, he said.

“This should go right around your neck,” said Lake, who is white, while holding a hose in video captured by Mason. Then she calls it a racial slur. “What are you filming for? The cops will do nothing.”

Mason and Lake agreed on that. Mason said he called the police “definitely over 20 times,” but nothing was done about Lake.

The Long Beach Police Department did not immediately respond to questions about its response to Lake’s harassment.

Another resident, Raquel Sepulveda, 29, also called police multiple times after being threatened by Lake, but was generally turned away, she said. In one case, police sent a social worker and Lake was held in a psychiatric detention center for 72 hours, Sepulveda wrote in court filings. But Lake came right back into the apartment afterwards.

“I don’t feel safe or at peace. I fear for my life and safety after her 72-hold ends,” Sepulveda wrote in a request for a restraining order against Lake.

Even after she received a restraining order in late June, Lake continued to molest her, Sepulveda said. Once Lake stood in front of Sepulveda’s door with a sharp object, Sepulveda said.

“Make me angry and I’ll hurt you,” Lake reportedly said.

Police arrested Lake on July 12 for violating the restraining order, Sepulveda said, but Lake returned days later.

Sepulveda, who is Spanish, said she believes there was a racist element to Lake that got away with her harassment for so long.

“It’s so unfortunate to know that if the roles had been reversed, it would have been different,” she said.

Long Beach police arrested Lake early Friday, nearly two months after Sepulveda applied for the restraining order. Police said they committed a “preliminary restraining order violation,” but Sepulveda thanks Mason more than the police.

“Without his video, the matter would not have been solved,” she said.

Lake is being held at the Century Regional Detention Facility on $50,000 bail. Her attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-08-18/long-beach-woman-charged-for-harassing-threatening-neighbors She tormented her neighbors for months. Here’s what it took to make them feel safe.

Alley Einstein

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