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Neighborhood problems escalate to threats, physical violence

Published: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

MINOOKA – Residents on Vista Court in Minooka say they’ve had enough of one couple whom they say are wreaking havoc on the neighborhood and threatening other residents.

A group of residents from Vista Court attended the village of Minooka board meeting Tuesday night and asked the board for help with the problem.

Resident Jennifer Miney said the couple, who were not identified, has ripped down American flags from yards, destroyed landscaping, ripped down Christmas decorations and exhibited drunken, disorderly behavior.

“(The) neighbor’s … girlfriend has repeatedly exhibited violent behavior,” Miney said. “She has personally threatened me, my husband and another resident of the association. She continuously bangs on my garage door when she is in a drunken stupor and screams at me to come outside …”

Miney said they have seen the man dumping oil down the sanitary sewer on Vista Court and have witnessed what she alleged to be the aftermath of physical abuse to a live-in caregiver of the couple’s child.

“At times I can’t walk outside my front door without being verbally attacked,” Miney said.

Homeowner’s association President Russ Powers also spoke to the board of trustees. He said the man drives his motorcycle while drunk and yells obscenities at other residents.

Powers also fears for his family’s safety when he sleeps at night because the man has guns.

“I want you to know this is a terrible man,” Powers said. “It’s unacceptable. We need help from the village. It’s never going to stop.”

Police have been repeatedly involved in complaints from both sides since April of this year, said Minooka Police Chief Justin Meyer.

In May, the woman was cited for disorderly conduct. She was found guilty after failing to attend a required adjudication hearing at the village.

Meyer said complaints date back to June 2012, when the male neighbor accused another Vista Court resident of moving his flag. A physical altercation ensued between the two.

Statements were taken from both individuals and turned over to the state’s attorney’s office. No formal charges were ever made, Meyer said.

Meyer said the department tried to arrange a mediation session among the parties, but both sides declined.

“Since the first time we met with the homeowner’s association, we recommended steps to take criminally or civilly,” Meyer said. “No one has been willing to follow through with the criminal incidences. Without a complainant, we can’t file the complaint.”

A third resident who spoke, asking not to be identified, said she’d been afraid to file charges because of fear of retaliation by the couple. The man has threatened to kill her while he was drunk, she said.

“I have never felt more scared in my life. I don’t know what they are going to do,” she said.

Regardless of retaliation, she is now willing to press charges on future incidents, she said.

Following the meeting, Miney showed cellular telephone videos of the woman exhibiting harassing behavior by parading back and forth in front of Miney’s home, with her dog and then her young child, and yelling out to Miney and her 13-year-old daughter.

Residents in attendance said they now plan to call police on each incident and will press charges.

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