Apple Valley woman killed by neighbor had reported harassment


In her Apple Valley condominium, Faye Brown kept a folder with the words “Harassment Documentation” written on the cover. Inside the folder, which had grown to be 2 inches thick, Brown chronicled more than a year’s worth of incidents she had with neighbor Raymond Ronald Rosenbaum.

Brown had gathered copies of the police reports and calls for service and notes on Rosenbaum’s behavior toward her, which she described as confrontational and aggressive. One of her last additions to the folder was a copy of a harassment restraining order she had filed against Rosenbaum on Sept. 8.

Brown and Rosenbaum lived directly across the hallway from each other on the second floor at Morningview Condominiums, which is a block west of Cedar Avenue off West 157th Street.

“I am completely terrified,” Brown wrote in her petition for the restraining order, which was granted by a Dakota County district judge the same day she filed it. “I cannot leave my apartment without first looking around, and then trying to quietly sneak out so as to avoid (Rosenbaum).”

Brown’s worst fears played out less than two months later. On Nov. 4, police say the 51-year-old Rosenbaum — armed with a .40-caliber handgun — shot and killed Brown in her condo and critically injured another neighbor before taking his own life in his condo.

Brown, 52, died of a gunshot wound to the torso. The surviving neighbor, who has not been identified by authorities, has been released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

Brown’s father said last week that she called him a month before the killing and gave a chilling foreshadow of her fate.

“She said, ‘Dad, he’s going to kill me.’ I gave her all the daddy things to do, you know,” said Mike Bruzenak of Bloomington. “She had pepper spray. And I got after her about a year ago to keep notes on everything — and she certainly listened to me.”

For Bruzenak, the folder represents his daughter’s cries for help.

“She did so much work to save her life,” Bruzenak said. He adds that more should have been done by police.

Apple Valley police say they were limited in what they could do with Rosenbaum, and that his volatile behavior and refusal to accept the help they offered highlights the struggle law enforcement face when interacting with people with a history of mental health issues.

“There was nothing on this night specifically that would have led us to predict what would have happened,” police Capt. Nick Francis said. “And I think it just goes to show the true challenge of the mental health crisis in our community and our ability to interact with these folks. Mental health can change day by day and minute by minute.”

ATTEMPT TO CALM ‘ONLY IGNITES HIM’

Apple Valley police have yet to publicly release a motive for the killing, other than to say that they had responded to the condominium building a number of times over incidents relating to Rosenbaum’s mental health. None of them were deemed to be criminal, Francis said.

In her court petition, Brown wrote that she believed Rosenbaum targeted her because of her position as a board member of the condominium association.

Faye Brown with her brother Jeffrey Hein at his 43rd birthday in July 2020. (Courtesy of Mike Bruzenak)

Brown wrote that Rosenbaum banged on her door on multiple occasions at odd hours, including at 4:30 a.m. on June 7, until she responded and how he would tell her about an “alleged repair” or a concern he had over something in the building.

Other times, Rosenbaum stood in the hallway “for no other reason than to stare at me coming or going from my unit,” Brown wrote.

“Several other board members have witnessed (Rosenbaum’s) behavior toward me in the common areas of the condominium as well,” she wrote. “They have asked (Rosenbaum) to leave me alone and not interact with me, but the behavior has only increased and escalated over the last year. It feels like any attempt to calm (Rosenbaum) down only ignites him and causes him to attack me even more.”

Brown wrote that Rosenbaum’s harassing and “episodic” behavior began in April 2019 with him defacing a posting by management in a common area of the building by writing that she was a liar and “unfit for the board.” She claimed it intensified with Rosenbaum accusing her several times of spying on him; staring, yelling and screaming at her; installing a loud motion sensor with an alarm in his front entry doorway in the hallway; and hanging black tarps to cover all his windows.

One day, she wrote, Rosenbaum opened his door and accused Brown of “making the floors bob up and down” and since she was on the board, “I better make it stop.”

A judge granted Brown’s request for a restraining order after concluding there were reasonable grounds to believe that Rosenbaum had “engaged in harassment” by following, monitoring or pursuing Brown, and that he made “uninvited visits” to her and “frightened” her with threatening behavior.



Source link