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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The mother of a victim of gun violence is blaming the City of Wilmington for her son’s death.

Patricia Proutey filed a lawsuit against Wilmington saying it is negligent for not providing enough light in the parking lot of the Community Arts Center, which contributed to her son’s murder.

Joshua Proutey, 19, was shot and killed in the parking lot Dec. 13, 2012, when he was robbed leaving work.

The lawsuit states Wilmington bought the lot in March 2009 for $750,000, but by the end of the fiscal year in 2012, the city spent a total of $751,365, despite $35,000 allotted for upgrades and parking equipment. That left $33,635 the city did not use for improvements.

According to the suit, from 2007 until Proutey’s 2012 death, there were about 50 criminal acts reported in or around the parking lot.

The lawsuit filed Feb. 3 seeks at least $25,000.

In it, Patricia Proutey accuses the city of:
•Failing to install and erect adequate lighting in the parking lot;
•Knowing or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known of the unsafe condition of the parking lot;
•Failing to exercise reasonable care in protecting Joshua Proutey from any unsafe conditions in the parking lot;
•Failing to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance, operation and management of the parking lot;
•Failing to provide adequate precautions against criminal activity in the parking lot;
•Failing to make reasonable inspections to discover dangerous conditions and, thereafter, make them safe;
•Failing to exercise reasonable care to protect Joshua Proutey against injury from criminal attack;
•Failing to use reasonable care to deter criminal activity on its premises;
•Failing to implement security measures to make the parking lot reasonably safe for use by the public;

Patricia Proutey’s negligence compliant is not the first one the city has heard.

The lawsuit says there have been numerous complaints by employees of the Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center and public officials affiliated with the facility.

Investigators believe the killer shot about two to five inches away from Proutey’s head. Detectives say the four people who robbed Proutey made off with $10, a cell phone and a sandwich.

Comment on this Story

  • MG

    I hope this woman wins her case against the city of Wilmington. With the rate of crime in the area, the city WAS negligent in properly policing and providing safeguards in the area.

    The rapid increase of violent crime and gang activity in the city is disturbing. The only way to fix it is with aggressive, non-corrupt policing and a court system that doesn’t slap these punks on the wrist.

  • zenobia

    With the kind of money big gangs bring in good luck on non corrupt policing. Until drugs are removed as a source of revenue for these gangs, the violence will continue.

  • brian

    Yes, I hope she wins as well. What she does with any settlement or award will show whether or not she truly believes that changes need to be made for safety’s sake, or if she’s just looking to line her pockets at the taxpayers’ expense.

  • Guest2020

    An intervening criminal act would release the city from liability.

  • Fred Moultrie

    Another ambulance chasing money grab bogus lawsuit. What happened to personal responsibility for your own safety? This guy should have taken a CCW course and carried a gun for his own protection. Its not like he was on a carnival ride that fell apart, or in a burning building where the doors were blocked. He was in a city known for dangerous rampant crime. If he was hiking in the woods and got killed by a bear who would be sued? Sorry he was a victim but learn from his mistake and dont become one yourself.

  • tseug

    …..only problem is that the New Hanover County DA is a democrat and needs the thug based voting block community to remain in office. Look for him to be as politically correct as the chief of police is. The DA for votes, the chief because he works for Cheatham.

  • live in the city

    i dont feel sorry for anyone who goes downtown , that gets killed. rob/ rape, everyone knows its not safe, he should have stayed home, if he did he be alive, so stay away from downtown or get what you deserve ,

  • Billp

    I hope the City Wilmington has to pay big bucks for this.

  • Guest2020

    Why should the city pay for this? They aren’t the ones that killed the kid for a sandwich.

  • Rusty

    Yes crime is becoming rampant in areas; yet this is the city’s fault in total? If I were to take a job in a bad area of town I would accept the dangers and hope if something happened to me my surviving family would accept I took that decision on myself rather than tying up the court system to try get $$ for *MY* putting myself there. I have sympathy for anyone losing loved ones but it ends quickly when lawsuits are filed..

  • Tim

    The parents should also sue William Barber and the NAACP–along with the liberals running the Democrat Party in Wilmington.

  • Guest, just another

    Wow, only either a selfish, money grubbing person would believe these things, or, a scumbag lawyer convinced her that she “deserves” this. Does ANYONE believe that a few more lightbulbs would have stopped those garbage mutts from doing that? Nope.
    Those of you that believe that the city should be more proactive in policing Re probably the dames ones that complain hat taxes are too high, “we spend too much”. Takes money to make money. You have to spend money on more officers if you want more officers.
    This mother is NOT honoring her son, at all.

  • PublicAvenger

    First of all. I feel very badly for this lady and her terrible loss. I still get mad, when I think about such a cruel and senseless act, by these monsters. Just like the poor Chinese delivery driver. Who I knew.

    All four of those horrible murdering, robbing, racist, should hang. Including the girl. Not that skin color matters. (It seems to only matter when the victim’s black). But these monsters were clearly hunting for a white person to kill. It is not the City’s fault. It’s 100% theirs.

    RIP Joshua. And to his mother, and the rest of his family, you have my prayers, and condolences.

  • Toni

    I don’t blame her ONE BIT!

  • john

    I talked to some of the people joshua worked with, she has already started a charity, and if she wins the money will go to that. it will help the same kids joshua worked with at the theater, plus many other local wilmington children.


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