Belleville resident says college-student neighbors left threatening message

By Ashlee Carlstrom & Courtney Bryant

Belleville, IL (KMOV) - One Belleville, Illinois resident says her neighborhood has been a terrible place to live since a local university bought most of the homes on her street.

Diane Rogge's home is the last on its side of the street that has not been bought out and occupied by students from the Belleville campus of Lindenwood University.

But Rogge says a recent incident is the last straw. A sign placed in her yard greeted her in the morning on May 4.

Rogge said the sign read, "Mind your own business and move."

Police and firefighters were called to her home during the evening on May 3 after Rogge complained the students were drinking around a bonfire built out of wood pallets.

"I felt threatened because we're worried they were gonna catch something on fire," said Rogge.

Since an agreement was made with the City of Belleville in October 2015, 35 homes have been bought by the university, allowing students to live in residential areas.

Rogge says loud parties, bonfires and now what she calls a threat from the students have caused nothing by trouble for her neighborhood.

"This is stressful. This has been a huge amount of stress for us," said Rogge.

News 4 notified Mayor Mark Eckert of Belleville, Ill. who says the complaints have been many, but they have been limited to the same few residents.

"The vast majority of students are not only welcome in Belleville, they're appreciated by the citizens of Belleville," said Eckert.

The university also gave a response regarding this incident: 

We are committed to being a good neighbor to the Belleville community, and we hold our residential students to a high standard of behavior. Furthermore, we are proud of the positive impact our students have had in Belleville and the surrounding area through community service."

It is unclear if the students will be disciplined.

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