Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Help Me Howard: Crazy Neighbor
Your neighbor drives you crazy. Sound familiar? A lot of people have that problem, but few can do anything about it. But there is a way to bring peace to your life. Here's Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- When we met Patricia, she was a little on the pregnant side.
Patricia Smith: "I have one more week to go. Actually I'm due any day."
Patricia and her husband Jim are expecting a boy and also have their four-year-old twins to care for. What the dont have time for is their neighbor.
Patricia Smith: "It's stressful. I could feel my blood pressure, I don't want to have any complications with my blood pressure going up."
Patricia says a neighbor who lives in their complex has confronted and harassed them face to face over the phone and in emails like this one that says.
A woman with half her teeth missing. A deadly staph infection on her body bring a child into the world she cannot afford , and Patricia is not the only one the neighbor targets.
Patricia Smith: "She sent 150 emails to the office just complaining about her next door neighbor."
Patricia changed her phone number and email address to avoid the headaches Then Jim came home and found this on their front door.
Patricia Smith: "'Warning you have MRSA,' And she cant even spell that right. 'Dont go in the pool or have your family around anyone else with that deadly bacteria.' This is ridiculous to have to have open your door and see something like this."
Of course Patricia and her family dont have MRSA, but the neighbor told other parents the family was infected and to keep their kids away from the twins devastating them.
Patricia Smith: "It's embarrassing for me because she went door to door telling people to stay away from me and these people are my friends."
The four year olds say she has even come up to them..
Boy: "Yeah her cussing right in my face nice lady someway but her mean now she turned mean now."
James doesnt understand why the nice lady is now mean, but his parents are frustrated by her strange behavior.
Patricia Smith: "I would like to see her leave here. She has caused a lot of trouble for the neighbors around here. She's just a trouble maker."
Patricia says she has called the police, but nothing happens. So Howard, legally is there anything you can do in a case like this?
Howard Finkelstein: "If calling the police doesnt work, the condo association has the right to force the neighbors to stop harassing people, and if they dont do it, there is a law that allow you to sue your neighbor for violating the rules and restrictions set by the condo association. If you win, the troublesome neighbor has to pay your attorneys fees."
When we were outside three different residents came up and said the neighbor was also harassing them. Then she came out to talk to me.
"Crazy" Neighbor: "Actually let me tell you my side of the story."
We have hidden her face. She told me she has serious issues and we dont want to embarrass her.
"Crazy" Neighbor: "My feelings were hurt. I've been really good to them."
She told me she doesnt harrass anyone. That she never cursed at the twins.
"Crazy" Neighbor: "I deny that totally. I have never, you know they are the ones who have put stuff in four year olds mouth."
As for the MRSA accusations...
Patrick: "Do you know who left this at their door?"
"Crazy" Neighbor: "No, no."
Patrick: "You don't know who left that? Is this your E-mail? 'Teeth missing a deadly staph infection?"
"Crazy" Neighbor: "Yes it is. Did she show you the nasty email she wrote me?"
Patrick: "Did you write that?"
"Crazy" Neighbor: "Yes, I did."
Then over the next few days, I got dozens of emails from the woman threatening me, promising to ruin my career and in between emails she left a few voice mails.
"Crazy" Neighbor: "Hello Patrick this is your friend. Let me tell you something, you better stay off my property."
Finally, I spoke to her landlord who told me she was billed $800 by the association for work their attorney did trying to get her tenant to stop harassing the other residents. The landlord then told me she was not renewing the woman's lease and she had to move out by October 1st.
The Smiths now have a new addition. Tyler has joined them and Patricia cant wait for the subtraction when her troublesome neighbor moving out.
Patricia Smith: "I am happy that we can finally be at peace."
Patrick Fraser: "Now Howard mentioned the residents can go to court to stop the harassing neighbor but you still want to call the police because if you have two or more examples of stalking by the neighbor, the police can arrest them. So dont forget to dial 911.
Troubles taken residence in your life? Not feeling neighborly about them? Contact us, we will try to eliminate the threats, legally of course.