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Subject: Physical Assault on Board Member
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NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:82


11/15/2019 5:46 PM  
I, an HOA Board Member was the victim of a physical assault today, a misdemeanor per my state's criminal status, by my neighbor. I and the Board President were overseeing the installation of a streetlight on common property, when my neighbor came out of his house, incensed and starting verbally ranting about the streetlight. I and the Board President tried to calm him down by stating facts, history, and other technical aspects of the streetlight. That did not work to calm the neighbor down. He continued ranting and then grabbed both collars of my sweatshirt and would not let go. My son who was inside the house and could view this, came outside all emotionally shook up with a telephone and asked the Board President if he should call 911? The Board President said no and that we don't want to escalate this situation even more. The neighbor then released his hands from my collar and went back inside his house.

The streetlight installation continued (the worker seemed oblivious to what was happening) and I then documented the incident to the HOA management company and the rest of the Board.

Since there were multiple witnesses and I reported it to the management company, is ok to bring it up at a Board meeting or tell neighbors?

Anything else you would suggest doing or not doing relative to this incident?


SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3412


11/15/2019 6:15 PM  

Police issue. Not an HOA issue. Reporting to the management company means nothing as they are not equipped to legally to deal with assault.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:82


11/15/2019 6:30 PM  
Correct. There is also a provision in our Fine Policy about harassment and interference. What happened today would fall under one of those categories, so it is a Board issue.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3412


11/15/2019 6:40 PM  
Fine? LOL.

Will you feel good about that fine when your in the hospital? Gotta start a paper trail with the police. Let the legal system deal with violence.
PaulJ6
(New York)

Posts:377


11/15/2019 6:44 PM  
I agree with Steve.

Report it to the police. The police may not do anything. I guess you can fine the person, but I would have any reports to neighbors not name the person, or be sure to say that the person was "alleged" to do what he did. You don't want to be on the receiving end of a defamation lawsuit.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1469


11/15/2019 6:49 PM  
Can you have defamation with multiple witnesses?
AugustinD


Posts:2045


11/15/2019 7:03 PM  
I agree with those who said report this to the police immediately. A paper trail is important. I would ask the board to have the HOA attorney send a letter to the perpetrator that informs him that he has violated xyz covenant and that a police report has been made. Do this in executive session. If the board refuses, consider hiring an attorney to write him a letter on your behalf to cease and desist. It's true the police won't do anything other than document that you made a report.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3362


11/16/2019 12:23 AM  
An unfortunate situation for sure. If the police weren't called then I think you should drop it. There's nothing the board or the management company can realistically do about it. You, on the other hand, should appreciate that you weren't seriously hurt and if you think it necessary perhaps consider applying for a restraining order against the guy. That shouldn't be hard if you've got eyewitnesses.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3910


11/16/2019 5:45 AM  
Posted By PaulJ6 on 11/15/2019 6:44 PM
I agree with Steve.

Report it to the police.


Agree. The police are trained to deal with neighbor-to-neighbor disputes. Make sure that the police understand how the incident affected your kid.

The police will talk to your neighbor - which is what is needed here.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3412


11/16/2019 6:31 AM  
id still file a report with the police. not too late. provide written statements and contract info from witnesses, and go right down to the station to file a report. police may knock on the guys door to ask him if he did this and not to do it again as they now know too. just having the police knock on his door might make him think twice next time.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:459


11/16/2019 6:44 AM  
NpB,
I agree with Steve and others here. The Police need to be involved in this type of issue. If you don't do it the next time will become the First time.

We are living in a crazy time right now and who knows what TV show this guy gets his news from but he may have been fired up about National Politics and took it out on his local Board members. He may also be in his house thinking he should have done more. Who knows what he could try next time. Report it and be aware that he may not be stable.
ND
(PA)

Posts:375


11/18/2019 7:03 AM  
I would love to better understand the full story behind this streetlight (starting from when, how, and what considerations/factors when into deciding a light would be installed). This is at least the 3rd or 4th separate post about it, each with the latest drama about the ranting, lunatic neighbor.

Sounds to me like this neighbor is quite unhappy about the light and you may be continually stoking the anger (either intentionally or unintentionally). I'm not saying what this neighbor did is at all acceptable, but perhaps his questions, concerns, and objections about the project were not adequately addressed before things proceeded to this point. From previous posts, it sounds like his opinions were actually dismissed because he is in the minority . . . even though the light is going right in front of his house.

Obviously if this incident had such an effect on you, your son, or other neighbors, then the police should have immediately been contacted.

You can bring up anything you want at a Board Meeting or among neighbors . . . but if you've already relayed to MC and BOD, what else is there to say? Honestly, I'd suggest just letting the contractor finish the work without your involvement or supervision. You've ok'd the project and the work is getting done. My next suggestion is to put a 24/7 camera on the finished streetlight since I foresee a few posts down the road with shock about the new light being vandalized.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:82


11/23/2019 6:10 PM  
If I don't file a police report, does that mean I cannot bring up incident at a Board meeting if aggressor starts complaining about streetlight, without fear of getting sued for slander, or if I communicate what happened to all owners via email--libel?

This is complicated because if a report is filed and, neighbor would probably become infuriated and neighbors might think that's over the top and it would backfire on how I was perceived, even though I was physically assaulted/threatened/intimidated.


GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1469


11/23/2019 6:15 PM  
NpB,

You might be missing the point about the police involvement.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:82


11/23/2019 6:22 PM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 11/23/2019 6:15 PM
NpB,

You might be missing the point about the police involvement.





Please enlighten me.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1469


11/23/2019 6:23 PM  
Nah. I just think you are missing the point.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:82


11/23/2019 6:29 PM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 11/23/2019 6:23 PM
Nah. I just think you are missing the point.





Thank you for the enlightenment.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3910


11/23/2019 7:13 PM  
Posted By NpB on 11/23/2019 6:10 PM
If I don't file a police report, does that mean I cannot bring up incident at a Board meeting if aggressor starts complaining about streetlight, without fear of getting sued for slander, or if I communicate what happened to all owners via email--libel?

This is complicated because if a report is filed and, neighbor would probably become infuriated and neighbors might think that's over the top and it would backfire on how I was perceived, even though I was physically assaulted/threatened/intimidated.


HOA and police are 2 different sources of authority. They don't overlap. You can speak to one or the other or both.

To win a libel/slander lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that the statement was untrue. Since there were witnesses, that's unlikely.

If your biggest concern is how you'll be perceived if you speak out, then let it go.


Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8753


11/23/2019 8:08 PM  
There is no such thing as "HOA police". Like it's been said before. There are the police and there is the HOA. HOA handles matters pertaining to their scope of responsibility. That does not include physical assaults or things that are criminal. The police handle the criminal part.

Too many people think they live in a "HOA bubble" where the HOA is responsible for everything. It's just not true. The HOA is just YOU and YOUR neighbors. If anything, it's vigilante justice if you want the HOA to do anything.

So far from some of the other post NPB has posted can see how someone may get a bit frustrated with them...Comes across as a nervous cat...

Former HOA President
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:82


11/23/2019 8:47 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 11/23/2019 8:08 PM
There is no such thing as "HOA police". Like it's been said before. There are the police and there is the HOA. HOA handles matters pertaining to their scope of responsibility. That does not include physical assaults or things that are criminal. The police handle the criminal part.

Too many people think they live in a "HOA bubble" where the HOA is responsible for everything. It's just not true. The HOA is just YOU and YOUR neighbors. If anything, it's vigilante justice if you want the HOA to do anything.

So far from some of the other post NPB has posted can see how someone may get a bit frustrated with them...Comes across as a nervous cat...





If I didn't live in an HOA, I would have definitely gone to the police immediately. I haven't wanted to file a police report due to the social and harmony dynamic. If I filed a police report and then read it verbatim at an HOA meeting or mailed it to all owners, how do you think members would react? They would probably think that I am disrupting social harmony. If I don't, and the incident is oralized at a Board meeting (if aggressor starts ranting at Board meeting) or described in an email and sent to all owners, a slander/libel suit could be filed and I would have to drag the two witnesses into my defense--they might not be too enthused.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8753


11/23/2019 9:14 PM  
Sounds like you want to live in the drama than resolve it. Call the police and screw harmony. I is already gone.

Former HOA President
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8753


11/24/2019 4:07 AM  
Let me add... Your always going to feel under threat of a lawsuit in a HOA. Get over it. Until someone actually does file what do you care? 9 times out of 10 it's a passive-aggressive way to handle things. They want you living under their thumb and get what they want... Now there is a clear difference if what they are saying has bearing of truth to it. That is when you need to correct yourself or the HOA's actions/reactions.

There is a saying that when someone goes to jail. Prison guards say that those that are "guilty" will sleep at night. Those that are "NOT guilty" will stay up all night. A guilty person knows they are finally caught and paying for their guilt. An innocent person will keep trying to prove they are not guilty. So how are you acting if you are going to prison?

Here is my advice. You have no choice in being a "victim". You have every choice in "playing" one. So stop with the victim role playing. Attacked? Call the police. Your unit needs a termite check? Let the inspector in. Chips will fall where they will. Which may or may not be under your feet.

Don't think I don't understand what your going through? One of my biggest regrets of being President was keeping the "harmony". The ex-president was such a con-artist. Wish I had called the police when was attacked. Wish I had not did so much to keep the "harmony". I ended up protecting my good HOA members but at the cost of exposing them to the bad ones in the end. They had no idea of the scrupulous behavior the Ex-President was doing.

So if you like living under a thumb, then stay exactly where you are in "peace and harmony". If you want to stop the criminal behavior you call the police and report it. Don't know why the HOA would be even involved as they have no right to the police report in the first place.

Former HOA President
PaulJ6
(New York)

Posts:377


11/24/2019 4:41 AM  
Why would you not file a police report? It just sits there in police records and is evidence that something happened, which can be the first step in getting the police to take action in case something more happens. There’s no need to read it to other homeowners and living in an HOA does not prevent you from filing one.
SheilaJ1
(South Carolina)

Posts:121


11/24/2019 5:19 AM  
Agree with Melissa, he is trying to mix the police matter into HOA matters. Like the statement by Melissa on it takes too much effort to keep harmony, let the mistakes come out and and try to fix them. I don’t see NpB trying to solve anything.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3910


11/24/2019 7:14 AM  
Posted By PaulJ6 on 11/24/2019 4:41 AM
Why would you not file a police report? It just sits there in police records and is evidence that something happened, which can be the first step in getting the police to take action in case something more happens. There’s no need to read it to other homeowners and living in an HOA does not prevent you from filing one.


If you contact the police now, a police officer will talk with the witnesses and then go to his house to talk with him. Please explain why this isn't a good outcome for you?


Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:254


11/24/2019 7:33 AM  
Posted By NpS on 11/24/2019 7:14 AM
Posted By PaulJ6 on 11/24/2019 4:41 AM
Why would you not file a police report? It just sits there in police records and is evidence that something happened, which can be the first step in getting the police to take action in case something more happens. There’s no need to read it to other homeowners and living in an HOA does not prevent you from filing one.


If you contact the police now, a police officer will talk with the witnesses and then go to his house to talk with him. Please explain why this isn't a good outcome for you?




You might want to re-read. I don't see it that way.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:254


11/24/2019 7:36 AM  
Posted By NpS on 11/24/2019 7:14 AM
Posted By PaulJ6 on 11/24/2019 4:41 AM
Why would you not file a police report? It just sits there in police records and is evidence that something happened, which can be the first step in getting the police to take action in case something more happens. There’s no need to read it to other homeowners and living in an HOA does not prevent you from filing one.


If you contact the police now, a police officer will talk with the witnesses and then go to his house to talk with him. Please explain why this isn't a good outcome for you?




You might want to re-read. I don't see it that way.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3910


11/24/2019 7:56 AM  
Posted By MarkW18 on 11/24/2019 7:36 AM
Posted By NpS on 11/24/2019 7:14 AM
Posted By PaulJ6 on 11/24/2019 4:41 AM
Why would you not file a police report? It just sits there in police records and is evidence that something happened, which can be the first step in getting the police to take action in case something more happens. There’s no need to read it to other homeowners and living in an HOA does not prevent you from filing one.


If you contact the police now, a police officer will talk with the witnesses and then go to his house to talk with him. Please explain why this isn't a good outcome for you?



You might want to re-read. I don't see it that way.



Not sure what you want me to re-read.

Around here, if you call the police saying that someone assaulted you, an officer will come out, talk to you and anyone else who was a witness or participant, and ask if you want to file charges.

If the incident happened 6 months ago, the police aren't coming. But if the call to the police is shortly after the incident, they come out.

Maybe it's different somewhere else, but not where I've lived.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
PaulJ6
(New York)

Posts:377


11/24/2019 10:47 AM  
Where I live (NYC), where government is run for the benefit of the non-law-abiding, a police report does nothing. If there is another incident after the first police report, then the police might act.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3910


11/24/2019 11:17 AM  
Posted By PaulJ6 on 11/24/2019 10:47 AM
Where I live (NYC), where government is run for the benefit of the non-law-abiding, a police report does nothing. If there is another incident after the first police report, then the police might act.

Even more reason to contact police now.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3910


11/24/2019 11:17 AM  
Posted By PaulJ6 on 11/24/2019 10:47 AM
Where I live (NYC), where government is run for the benefit of the non-law-abiding, a police report does nothing. If there is another incident after the first police report, then the police might act.

Even more reason to contact police now.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JaredC
(Texas)

Posts:227


12/03/2019 6:30 PM  
Take them to the ground. Mount then ground and pound. There are plenty of options whether you choose to pull guard or not. Just sayin.
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