A New York couple, who complained too much about their neighbor, were arrested and charged with stalking. Poet Robert Frost once wrote: “Good fences make good neighbors.” The phrase, an old adage around prior to Frost including it in his “Mending Wall” poem, highlights a simple truth, one that has endured over centuries – the best neighbors are oftentimes the ones that leave us alone.
But a couple from Cooperstown, New York, went way too far with their bellyaching grievances, said the District Attorney, who fielded complaint after complaint from the couple over their “intrusive” neighbor. In the end, the DA filed charges – against them.
Writes ABC News on Dec. 31, via Yahoo: “Paul Sohacki and Katherine Gannon live on 12 scenic acres in Otsego County, New York. They say their neighbor Gene Ellis, who lives on more than 50 acres, attempted to steal their land. It all started, the couple recalls, because Ellis’ driveway crossed a sliver of their land.”
Gannon, who told his story to ABC News’ “20/20,” said of Ellis: “He never asked permission. He said, ‘You’re not going to prevent us from driving on this driveway.’ He was redefining the border closer and closer to our house. We had to get the land surveyed and see who owned what.” The full story is set to air on 20/20 this Friday, Jan. 2, reports CNYNews.com.
But Paul and Katherine, by most estimations, went over the top with their incessant complaints. Even after Ellis was forced to move his driveway over, the “couple said that they had to film Ellis to document what they say was trespassing and menacing behavior. Soon cameras covered their property, and they supplemented their security cameras with cameras in their cars and wore body cameras everywhere they went,” writes Yahoo.
Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl said the evidence they kept presenting him against Ellis actually showed that Sohacki and Gannon were the ones committing crimes. “It showed them actually committing a crime against him. All of these videos [were] the best evidence against themselves,” Muehl said to 20/20.
“They were eventually arrested when we actually had some independent evidence of a witness, who was able to confirm that the Sohackis were following Mr. Ellis around and taking pictures of him,” Muehl said. “But really, if it hadn’t been for this, Mr. Sohacki and Ms. Gannon bringing me the evidence against themselves, I wouldn’t have known, for sure, who to believe. But when I’ve got these videos where it’s clear that they are causing the issue.”
Charges were dropped, and both couples have since moved away. “I believe they are obsessed with Gene Ellis,” Muehl said.
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