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rakkassan
May 25, 2006, 12:43 AM
Greeting!

I have enjoyed reading the forum for a long time, never thought of posting until now and here is the situation…

My wife and I along with our 10 weeks old puppy live in an apartment complex in Orlando, FL. My wife is Canadian, recently moved here, since she is still waiting for her work permit and SSN she stays home while I work during the day.

The problem is our neighbors downstairs. Two guys and a girl live there. About a month and half ago we start hearing loud scream in the middle of the night at random. This will go on all night until early morning. Finally one night I decided to call the apartment security patrol, but by the time he got here they have already quiet down. And the next night they call the patrol on us while we were sleeping just to avenge.

Two weeks ago we welcomed our new family member, an 8 week old black lab we named her XiYo (Cantonese for soy sauce). We walk her as frequent as possible, just as earlier yesterday evening. As we were coming back to the apartment I noticed one of our neighbors was peeking through the door. As soon as we got to the bottom of the stairs which is directly infront of the door, it swan open and there he is standing in the door way completely naked.

I called the police, but since there is no evidence, no cooperating witnesses there is nothing they can do. Our apartment management sucks and I expect them to do nothing as usual.

What I worry about is that if he dares to do this with me around my wife, what would he do with her alone?

I love my wife, but she is a pacifist and I am the complete opposite. She can’t carry (see above about being a Canadian), and most likely won’t ever carry and I am a CCWer. She believes that if I ignore them they will stop bugging us (we argued, I am sleeping in the guest bedroom tonight). I know this situation doesn’t warrant firearm intervention, but I know they will not stop, especially if they know they can get away with it since this is not the first time we have trouble with them.

Please help me out here. I thought of maybe a hidden camera, but worry if it would be legal, since anything outside of my door isn’t my property. Pepper spray? If he is standing inside his door way flashing my wife, would it be legal? I have already contacted my lawyer trying to get out of my lease, but since we do not have enough evidence to fear for our safety as the management put it, I don’t think that will happen.

Any idea would be welcome.

Topthis
May 25, 2006, 02:33 AM
Too much not said here, why was the person screaming? Was it sex? Was it violence? Most police/security will not tell the neighbors who called in the complaint...so that these issues do not arise, so I am thinking there is some history here. Especially since your neighbor is now flashing you, I have a feeling that there have been some sort of confrontations between you all.
I agree that involving a handgun here is totally out of the question! Why hasn't your lawyer advised you on the legalities of using a camera?? Why hasn't he advised you on Pepper Spray?? He would be the one to ask.
I really can't comment of what I would do...because I think that there is much more going on here. Have you tried to make peace and talk to your neighbors?

Maser
May 25, 2006, 03:45 AM
I agree that there's not really enough info being told to give a decent answer to your problem. I also agree that the use of a firearm would definatly be a no-no in a situation like that seeing as the pervert is naked and clearly unarmed. Did this guy seem intoxicated at all in anyways? If so then you can have the cops slap a public intoxication charge as well as public indecent exposure.

Also, how long is your lease? Would it be possible to just pay off your lease and get the hell out of that apartment complex? I understand your wife not keeping a handgun, but I would recommend that you suggest to her to use a non-leathal form of protection such as OC spray or a taser.

Mtschust
May 25, 2006, 03:45 AM
If I were you I would try to find a different apartment.

rakkassan
May 25, 2006, 05:33 AM
Thanks all. The screams were random, almost howling like. We have only just moved in when it started and we asked around other neighbors and it seems that it's been happening for a while before we moved in but the management never did any thing about it. I did had some confrontation with them once, when all three of them decided to sit by their door playing with the car alarm one Friday night with the remote for about two hours.
We even asked the management to move us to a different building, but they refused.

I still have 9 months on my lease.

PythonGuy
May 25, 2006, 07:12 AM
Move.

Duxman
May 25, 2006, 07:57 AM
Check your lease details to see if there are any "out" clauses especially if your neighbors put you in this compromising situation.

Not much you can do with a pervert except catch him in the act and get him arrested for violating indecency laws. If you have friends that are in LE, I would have them "chat" with the neighbors and that might calm them down.

There are probably noise clauses in most leases - violating them could result in sactions or evictions but most building management folks are reluctant to enforce them if the rent is paid on time.

dfaugh
May 25, 2006, 08:33 AM
There's always the possibility that when the neighbor leaves the apartment, something BAD might happen to him. Of course, you wouldn't have anything to do with it, but its a cruel world out there.

I dated a girl that I met, that lived down the street...she moved out because of abusive boyfriend...we started dating after that (but he thought we started when she still lived there.)...While we were dating he threatened her and I several times, and harrased both of us many times. Funny thing was he'd never show up at her new place when I was there, nor would he come over to my house (even though I "invited" him several times)...It got really annoying...But, bad things started to happen to him (bad karma and all that), and he eventually moved away..FAR away...Of course, I didn;t have anything to do with any of it, it was just bad karma (which sometimes needs a little help along the way.)

HangFire83
May 25, 2006, 09:04 AM
Just carry some kind of a camera; ie. cell phone, digital, polaroid. Next time he/she is feeling frisky at your door way......instant evidence. (Don't know how well they would hold up in court but your neighbors sound fairly dumb and you could still use the photos as leverage.)

stephen426
May 25, 2006, 09:35 AM
Lewd and lascivious behavior is illegal. Your neighbor standing in front of his doorway naked is clearly lewd and lacivious. Even if he was inside his house and pranced around naked in front of a big window, it could be constituted as lewd and lacivious. I would NOT try and make peace with those neighbors. I don't believe that you have done anything to warrant their behavior or done anything to upset them. Some people are just jacka**es.

What I would do is file a complaint of the lewd and lacivious behavior with the police department, regardless if there were other witnesses, and complain to the landlord as well. This should send a clear message to your neighbors that you don't intend to put up with their crap. At the same time, you will have the law on your side.

If you don't lodge these official complaints and you end up having to take matters into your own hands, you will be much worse off. Their behavior does not call for the use of force, but I would get your wife a can of good pepper spray. Many people on this forum seem to like the stuff from foxlabs (http://www.foxlabs.com/FoxLabs.html).

You should make sure your locks are secure and consider adding an additional security device since your wife will be home alone when you are at work. She should walk the dog during the day time when there are more people around. You can keep her company for the later walks. She should probably be carrying the pepper spray in her dominant hand when she nears your neighbor's door. If they pull another stunt like that, by all means hose them. Make sure she aims for the face and the privates as it will hurt like hell. A woman can easily claim that she was in fear for her life or in fear of getting raped and not have any problems with the police.

There are a lot of sickos out there and you really don't know how far they will go. I don't feel that you should move just to avoid these a**holes. Force them to either change or they should leave. Be sure to complain to the landlord and the police. You might want to get a gun anyways, but don't ever escalate the situation or else you will go to jail. If they get crazy and break down your door, by all means do what you have to.

Good luck and keep us posted.

rakkassan
May 25, 2006, 09:42 AM
I thought about using the camera on my cell as an option, or even use a disposable one which should allow me a quick snap before he can close the door if there is a next time.
We do have a clause in the lease, but due to lack of evidence the management won’t budge. After a frustrating talk with the manager this morning I think the best solution will be breaking the lease, but may have to wait until the wife starts working again. There is a 3 months rent penalty for it which will cost me over $5,000 and no new toys for me for a long time. As for now, my H&K USP 40 is available (out of the safe) at home with the wife while I am not there. Although she does not like it, at least she’s been to the range with me enough and can handle it with confidence.

rakkassan
May 25, 2006, 09:57 AM
Stephen

Thanks a lot. I must admit it skip my mind about filing an official complaint. I will certainly do that this afternoon.
There are plenty of guns in the house, as I am a certifiable “gun nut” according to my friends. They are all locked up except for the one I left out for the wife in the house. When I get home, my trusty Kimber is usually out.
The officer gave me the contact for sexual predator division and told me that I should call them if it happens again and they should be able to handle the situation differently.

I would love to see those a**hole punished, but I am not willing to take the chances with my family waiting for it. Their time will come, with my assist or not.

Topthis
May 25, 2006, 09:58 AM
"Forced Eviction"...talk to your Lawyer about it, there should be some provision like it. It allows people to break lease agreements if living conditions are not agreeable to the point where the tenant feels that they can no longer remain...or something like that. I'm not a lawyer, but I had a friend way, way ,way back that dealt with a similar issue and her family Lawyer got her out by using some provision like this.

stephen426
May 25, 2006, 10:19 AM
rakkassan,

After a frustrating talk with the manager this morning I think the best solution will be breaking the lease, but may have to wait until the wife starts working again. There is a 3 months rent penalty for it which will cost me over $5,000 and no new toys for me for a long time.

I understand your concern for your family, but I would NOT break the lease, especially since it would cost you $5,000. You work hard for your money and to let a couple of a**holes chase you off it absurd. What if you get jacka** neighbors at your next home? They are the ones breaking the law... not you. Your wife should not be a prisoner in her own home and you should not be bullied into leaving. I think that apartment management can even be held liable for their failure to act, by at least giving your neighbors a warning. Maybe you can consult an attorney regarding that. Be sure to call management whenever the screaming starts and get other neighbors involved.

Forget the camera and get the pepper spray. Unless you are far away enough to prove that they are flashing you from the doorway, they may try to twist it and say you were spying on them in the privacy of their own homes. Besides, they may try and grab the evidence, which would then lead to a physical struggle. That is not the way you want things to go. Another thing is that it will be hard to get a shot off before he slams the door in your face.

It is a good thing that you already have guns and that your wife knows how to use them. With the gun at home and pepper spray outside, she should be pretty safe. Make sure she has it in her hand when she walks near your neighbor's door.

One other thing to think about is buying a cheap CCTV system and monitor your car. If your neighbors are such a**es already, they will probably retaliate by keying your car or worse. If they do something, you can prosecute them. Make sure you get a low light cameras and a recording system capable of recording only when there is motion. PM me if you want to know where to buy this stuff. It will be much cheaper than breaking your lease and/or repairing your car. Besides, it will give you solid evidence to press charges and get your neighbors evicted if they do something.

SonOfLiberty
May 25, 2006, 11:57 AM
Housing courts and the corresponding laws differ greatly from state to state. Some state's laws are very pro-tenant, and others are pro-landlord, this will have a profound impact on how you should proceed (do some research.) As a property manager I'm familiar with several types of conflicts between tenants (similar to what you're describing) and some resolutions. My advice:

Don't break the lease. You lose all power, and the management company will "offer" to accept 3 months rent penalty to accomodate. Thats crap and they can chase you for the rent. Also, if asked for or providing a reference to another landlord in the future they will report that you "broke lease" and may not clarify why.

Re-read your lease. Chances are that it lists all grounds for eviction. Look for lease terms, or provisions for a notice to quit/vacate. Chances are pretty good your neighbor has the same lease. Look to help cement the landlord's case against him. Write letters to management complaining specifically about dates and times of incidents and demand action. Try to get your neighbors to help as well, by doing the same. Safe bet that somebody else has had problems with this wacko as well. With enough complaints, the management company will get annoyed or frustrated, and begin to worry about losing good tenants because of the wacko. Having police reports, and several resident documented instances makes the eviction process easier. It took us 6 months to evict a known drug addict (documented), that hadn't paid rent in over a year. (I'm talking hypodermic needles, crack pipes, walking around naked.) Depends on state laws, and other circumstances. Here in Massachusetts, its a joke.

There's probably a housing advocacy group in your area as well. Usually they'll give you free advice about how to handle landlord, tenant, and other issues. Or they'll put you in touch with someone that can help.

Just because the management company says you don't have enough reason to fear for your safety doesn't mean that its true. If you (or your wife) can get a restraining order against said wacko, then that demonstrates that a judge believes you have good reason to fear for your safety. Then the management company can't fight that angle.

Basically, just know your options, select an approach and attack. Eventually the management company will give in because you're becoming a big enough headache. We hate to throw good money after bad. ;)

Hedley
May 25, 2006, 04:43 PM
Sounds like the crackhead downstairs neigbor who lived below us in my first apartment. He would knock on our door in the wee hours of the night and ask us to buy his Lazy Boy or if he could "borrow" a lighter to light some candles. He also used to beat his poor wife to the tune of BackStreet Boys. Whenever we heard the music turned up, we knew what was going on. There were also people coming and going at all times.
My college roomate and I tried everything...complaints, police calls, everything. I thought about letting him see me carry my big rifle case into the apartment, but figured that would just give him a reason to break in and try to steal something of value. Then one day, I came home from work to see two squad cars at the building. They had me translate for him and his wife(both Cuban nationals), and it turned out that he hit her with a bottle, and she stabbed him in the thigh with a pair of scissors. He was put in jail for a while, then evicted a short time later. Problem solved. This has happened a couple more times in two different complexes, so my advice would be to just let Darwinism play itself out. But it is your wife we're talking about, and not some hodge-podge college apartment, so I'd probably be more proactive.

stallion114
June 6, 2006, 11:10 AM
what about subleasing the apartment. You might not lose much that way.

Edward429451
June 6, 2006, 12:03 PM
It used to be that you could go up and pop them guys a good one in the mouth. That's a statement, not assault. He made a statement, you made a statement back.

Now we're down to can't you just run from the perv and move?

It's illegal to be a man nowadays, nation of wimps.:rolleyes:

(not attacking the posters or thread starter, just societal mores!)

Para Bellum
June 6, 2006, 01:18 PM
I don't know whether you can get these in the US, but they are perfect for non-gunners:

They call them "Guardian Angel" and "Jet Protector" here in old Europe:
Check the webiste: http://www.piexon.ch/

http://www.piexon.ch/_images/pop/0402/pic1.jpg

http://www.piexon.ch/_images/pop/0402/pic3.jpg

description: (no worries, the don't pay me for posting that)

GUARDIAN ANGEL --- THE PERFECT BACKUP OC WEAPON

GUARDIAN ANGEL is the modern device for personal protection that you can rely on. It has the capability of two 6 ml volume shots. The device changes over automatically from the first loading to the second. It is not rechargeable, after two shots it has to be replaced. GUARDIAN ANGEL has only one control lever – the trigger. This offers the highest degree of operational safety in an emergency. The trigger has a resistance of 3 kg and a marked release point on the trigger prevents unintentional firing.

GUARDIAN ANGEL doesn’t use a permanent pressure container, but a pyrotechnic power drive. The power drive, which is ignited by pulling the trigger, produces the necessary pressure to accelerate the liquid agent. The JET PROTECTOR technology accelerates the agent up to 40 m/s (90mph). It is impossible for an assailant to evade this "liquid projectile". The pyrotechnic drive is reliable in every position and orientation, and in extreme weather conditions (rain/sun/snow). For this reason GUARDIAN ANGEL has a higher system reliability than any other irritant or pepper spray canister.

GUARDIAN ANGEL is small, handy and flat, the ideal back-up weapon. It is designed for concealed carrying in public. It is built according to ergonomic principles to firmly fit into your hand, it can be easily used in an emergency. The design does not follow a standardised industry aerosol shape, but was specially developed to fit firmly and comfortably in the hand. GUARDIAN ANGEL can be attached to any clothing with the help of a belt clip. In addition a cordura carry bag is available to be attached on the belt.

GUARDIAN ANGEL satisfies the highest quality standards. Stringent quality control during the production process ensures consistently high quality and reliability. The technical construction is CE certified and Piexon gives a three year warranty on the function of the device from the date of production.

Forget cameras and stuff like that. A wide-angle lens in you peep-hole is more reliable and gives a better pic. And don't rely on that. A camera etc won't disable anyone...

Mikeyboy
June 6, 2006, 03:11 PM
Ironically a "naked neighbor" incident came up on a Police Video show I watch the other day. The next door neighbor of this lady kept walking out of his house naked every time she walked out the door. Nothing could be done without proof. She set up a movie camera in her window to catch the guy in the act. If you have a good view from your window do the same. Otherwise your wife can take a snapshot from a digital camera or a cell phone camera. She should definately carry some pepper spray.

Mikeyboy
June 6, 2006, 03:11 PM
double tap

steelheart
June 6, 2006, 04:54 PM
"Forced Eviction"...talk to your Lawyer about it, there should be some provision like it. It allows people to break lease agreements if living conditions are not agreeable to the point where the tenant feels that they can no longer remain...or something like that. I'm not a lawyer, but I had a friend way, way ,way back that dealt with a similar issue and her family Lawyer got her out by using some provision like this.That is exactly what I was going to say. Consult an attorney - the scumbags downstairs are creating a "hostile living environment" which you and your wife cannot endure. The scumbag landlord is making it possible by shirking his/her duty to you as a tenent. You have rights - make sure they are protected.

Also,
Re-read your lease. Chances are that it lists all grounds for eviction. Look for lease terms, or provisions for a notice to quit/vacate. Chances are pretty good your neighbor has the same lease. Look to help cement the landlord's case against him. Write letters to management complaining specifically about dates and times of incidents and demand action.

I would call 911 and ask for the police to come out every time they "disturb the peace." Build an official history of problems and law-breaking on these losers.

As far as the flashing your wife goes,
There's always the possibility that when the neighbor leaves the apartment, something BAD might happen to him. Of course, you wouldn't have anything to do with it, but its a cruel world out there.

But, bad things started to happen to him (bad karma and all that), and he eventually moved away..FAR away...Of course, I didn;t have anything to do with any of it, it was just bad karma (which sometimes needs a little help along the way.):D :D

Gazpacho
June 6, 2006, 05:28 PM
Find out if the owner of the apartment complex owns another complex. Offer to sign a new 12 month lease in the other property if they will terminate (without penalties) the current lease. I did that once because I wanted to upgrade to a better apartment. My landlord was more than willing to accomodate me.

If the only have the one property, consider moving to another part of the complex.