Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Back in the day, this problem would have ended long ago

Friends of my wife and mine have been undergoing harassment from a crazed neighbor for a couple of months.

The neighbor, Ken, stands on the edge of his yard and shouts obscenities at George and Sheila. He dares George to cross the street. George knows, though, that if he sets foot on Ken’s property, he could be arrested for trespass. George and Sheila have called the Manatee Sheriff's Department at least twice, but deputies said that as long as Ken stays on his own property, the law can do nothing.

Ken has a criminal record, several guilty pleas and convictions for misdemeanor marijuana possession, guilty pleas for felony possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, at least one conviction for assault.

Not long after Ken started harassing George and Sheila, I mentioned to my wife that maybe I could go stand on the sidewalk in front of George and Sheila’s house and stare at Ken’s house, see what he would do.

Today I had the opportunity. My wife and I were at George and Sheila’s when Ken drove into his driveway. I stepped outside and stood on the walkway and folded my arms. Ken got out of his truck. He looked at me. He walked into his garage and looked over his shoulder. I stood with my arms folded. Ken repeated walk, stop and look two more times. And then from the shadows of his garage he said, “What are you staring at, motherfucker?”

I said, “Yeah, that’s what I figured.” I turned and went into George and Sheila’s house.

I still figure I could get reaction from Ken if I stand on the sidewalk, stare at his house and say nothing. Maybe he would even cross the street and step into George and Sheila’s yard.

If we were in Texas, the problem would be quickly solved. In George's old Massachusetts neighborhood, Ken would have already been visited by a guy. Civilized Florida sometimes keeps a man from doing what needs doing.

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