MARIETTA — Residents and workers at a South Cobb Drive apartment complex said they wouldn’t be surprised if a meth lab was found there, but didn’t believe that’s what it was when a hazmat team showed up Wednesday morning.
“I know what methamphetamine smells like, and I was just inside the apartment 10 minutes before (officers) got here and I didn’t smell it,” said Joel Watson, the Skyway Apartments manager who was on duty when police were called.
What he did smell was “just a bad, living, dirty smell,” he said.
Officer Mike Bowman with Cobb County Police said officers responded to the complex at 823 S. Cobb Drive a little before 7:30 a.m. on a call about a possible domestic situation when they detected what was described as a “chemical smell” coming from the unit.
More Cobb officers, Cobb County Sheriff’s Office deputies, members from the Cobb County Fire and Emergency and the Cobb County Hazardous Materials Response teams were all called in to investigate.
Lt. Dan Dupree with Cobb Fire said whatever created the smell that required their response was gone when they arrived on the scene so they weren’t able to determine what it was.
“Our hazardous materials personnel entered the apartment and monitored the air for anything volatile,” he said. “Nothing was found on the monitor.”
Two people were detained during the search, but one was released and the other was arrested on an active warrant for failure to report on a probation term.
Residents in one of the two buildings at the complex were evacuated during the inspection but were able to return home around 10 a.m.
Watson said each building consists of 15 units each and only seven occupants were living in the evacuated building at the time of the investigation. He placed the original call to police.
“We were trying to get a guy out of the apartment this morning that wasn’t supposed to be there,” Watson said.
The suspect had been banned from the property and after refusing to leave, Watson called police.
Skyway Apartments resident Daudi Chappell didn’t know what was going on until he stepped outside of his apartment to go grab drinks at a nearby convenience store for his children.
“I saw this and wondered what the hell was going on,” he said.
He’s lived at the complex for about a year.
“It don’t really surprise me,” Chappell said about the police presence. “This place is kind of iffy.”