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Six-Year-Old Survives in Home Described as Drug Den

July 30, 1989

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Six-year-old Dooney Waters lives in what Prince George’s County police and social service workers call a crack house.

The door that leads to the apartment is riddled with bullet holes and gaps that are usually stuffed with wads of paper or balled-up socks where there once were locks.

″Drugs have wrecked my mother,″ says Dooney. ″Drugs have wrecked a lot of mothers and fathers and children and babies. If I don’t be careful, drugs are going to wreck me too.″

Dooney’s tale came in the first of two articles in Sunday’s editions of The Washington Post.

The Post said a reporter and photographer spent more than two months this spring chronicling Dooney’s life in a Washington Heights apartment complex that Prince George’s County police have identified as one of the most active drug markets in Landover.

Dooney is the child’s nickname. Waters is his legal surname.

″My mother don’t take care of me,″ Dooney said during an interview with the newspaper in late May. ″All she want is drugs.″

Addie Lorraine Waters, 32, described herself as a ″slave to cocaine.″ She told the newspaper she allowed drug dealers to use her apartment in exchange for steady support of her habit.

The apartment is in a neighborhood where more than a dozen slayings occurred last year but there are no locks on the front door so addicts and drug dealers have easy access.

Dooney now lives in the district with his father, a federal employee who asked not to be identified.

″I just couldn’t let him stay in a place like that,″ said Dooney’s father, who himself served prison time for a drug conviction but has been separated from Dooney’s mother for three years.

″There was no one watching over him,″ he said.

At home, where Dooney was burned when a woman tossed boiling water at his mother’s face in a drug dispute, the boy was painfully shy.

But teachers described Dooney as exhaustively outgoing in school where they said he often begged to be taken to their homes. They said he once asked if he could stay overnight in his classroom.

Dooney was at home, but asleep when his brother Frank Russell West, 13, was shot in the left shoulder.

His mother didn’t press charges against Edward ″June″ Powell, the man police charged with shooting Russell. She said Powell, who is out on bail, was trying to shoot someone else, adding that Russell still considers him a friend.

″Everybody knows about the drugs at my house,″ Dooney said with a matter- of-fact tone not common to a first-grader. ″The police know, too, but they don’t do nothing about it. Don’t nobody do nothing about it,″ he said.

Prince George’s County police said they know about Waters’ operation but have never found enough drugs in the apartment to charge her or others.

″The problem is that drugs don’t last long up there,″ said Officer Alex Bailey, who patrols the Washington Heights neighborhood. ″They use them up as soon as they arrive.″

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