Geraldine Panattieri, of 1055 Edison Avenue, who suffers from a mental disability, was found by her neighbors and friends homeless and wandering the street. Panattieri, in her 50s, also is afflicted with auditory hallucinations.
Panattieri’s neighbors believe that when her long-time partner passed away she stopped taking her medicine. Another neighbor, Joseph Lillard, several years younger, was soon seen spending time at the house – even using her lawn to park his motorcycle. They said that Lillard eventually threw her out of the house and is now living there with his son, a student at P.S. 14, and an unidentified adult female.
“She had a long time partner who was a Vietnam veteran and who took care of her, but he passed away several months ago,” a neighbor, who did not wish to be indentified, said. “A couple of months ago, my wife saw her living on the street and got to work notifying the proper authorities.”
Panattieri has been taken off the street, and is currently undergoing a 10-day psychiatric evaluation, sources said. Adult Protective Services has taken over her case, and according to a source, she was taken to Soundview-Throggs Neck Community Mental Health Center – run by Montefiore Medical Center.
Apparently, Lillard convinced her they were married. She signed a deed transferring the house she had lived in all her life – which was left to her by her parents – to him.
With her parents long deceased, and no one to stop him, Lillard moved into the house and quickly threw out Panattieri along with all of her furniture and possessions, neighbors said.
Neighbors say Lillard would often get into confrontations with merchants on E. Tremont Avenue. When they asked him where Panattieri went, he said she was dead.
“She is not a well person, and he [Lillard] just took advantage of the situation to take her house,” another anonymous neighbor said. “The upstairs tenant said that she was threatened with a shotgun because he wanted her out of the apartment. I don’t doubt that he is dangerous.”
Former assemblyman and attorney Steve Kaufman is working on returning the house to Panattieri, once she is on her medication.
Lillard refused to respond to the paper’s requests for an explanation of how he obtained the house.