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tv   2020  ABC  September 20, 2013 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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i could feel the ballz slipping away. (barbara) pleasure... appreciate it, ma'am. congratulations, guys. blah, blah, blah, blah! thank you, guys. thank you, thank you. (laughter) (robert) nice job. (whispers) yes, sir! was there ever a doubt? i'm very surprised. i think they made a mistake. yeow! yes, sir! sweet ballz coming to a.a.c., baby! let's go! that's what i'm talking about! excuse me. who's hot? who's hot? (laughing) who's hot? who's hot? (lori speaks indistinctly) who's hot? (kevin) i think-- who's hot? lord...
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the people next door. >> you think shark tank is brutal. wait until you see this. >> when neighbors collide. it's all out war. ever want to take a bulldozer to a neighborhood? this guy did. >> get out of the house. get out of the house. >> when a battle over a property line turns ballistic. >> he's totally nuts. >> home wrecker. but who needs a bulldozer, when you got her on tape. >> you've been called -- >> america's nastiest neighbor. >> the neighbor from hell. >> why do you have to live my life to make them happy? >> this time she's not just acting out, she's cursing out.
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>> she told me i was a [ bleep ]. >> america's nastiest neighbor? plus, you like to watch. these neighbors do, the latest surveillance on steroids, catching robbers, rough deliveries and raccoons. the people next door. >> i have to watch all this. >> good evening, first the good news, home sales finally coming back, 6 1/2 year high in fact. now the bad news. what happens when the people next door are the neighbors from hell? they can bring the value of your home down by thousands. >> and face it, we probably all have horror stories living next to them. until you have woken up to a bulldozer bearing down on you, everything else pales. jay shadeler has a video.
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a demolition derby. >> >> it's like a movie scene. >> a truck got flattened like a pancake. >> he didn't care. >> reporter: in the annals of neighborhood mayhem. >> call 911, guys. >> reporter: it doesn't get much crazier than this. >> unbelievable. >> there's someone on a tractor on pioneer and, oh, my gosh! >> okay, i can't understand you when you're screaming. >> he's smashing my house. >> smashing your house? and it's your neighbor? >> i'm getting the [ bleep ] out of here. >> reporter: neighbors terrorized, by a bully in a bulldozer. >> i was afraid i was gonna die. >> i'm glad we're both alive. >> reporter: dan and mary davis, and barb porter are retirees who came to port angeles, washington looking for a bit of paradise. why did you want to move here? >> well, it's a beautiful place to live. >> and we like to fish and the water is right here. >> reporter: clinging to the northern shore of the olympic peninsula, this town of 20,000 is a pit stop for giant oil tankers and a port-of-call for lumbermen and fishermen. more recently the place has served as a scruffy setting for the megahit movie "twilight."
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but even if you blended a drop of vampire blood with a dose of that old cult classic "killdozer," where a bulldozer is possessed by an alien demon, you'd have a long way to go to "out-weird" this story. >> reporter: but before we meet the neighbor from the dark side lets trace his path of destruction. beginning with a vacant modular home dan was building as a rental unit. >> this is where my house sat. >> reporter: and this is where it wound up. next door. >> he shoved my house through the fence, collapsed both their storage buildings. >> it was way over there, and it ended up here. and that's my house there. he headed toward this small house here, and it looks to me like he destroyed that house. >> reporter: to say nothings of dan's pickup truck, which, in the end -- could have been carried away with a spatula. all of this, courtesy of a bulldozer driven by a very angry
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logger, their neighbor barry swegle. i talked with his brother jeff. >> barry's actually an easygoing guy. >> i'm almost smiling, just because of the juxtaposition of, i'm picturing him up on the dozer, knocking down houses as an easygoing guy. i'm trying to get my head wrapped around that. >> well, i guess things change. you know, if somebody makes you mad enough, you snap. you do things you probably regret. >> reporter: yeah. >> i think that's what happened here. he, he snapped. >> reporter: long before barry snapped, crackled and popped his way through this neighborhood. >> reporter: a fella down in colorado climbed in an armor-clad bulldozer in 2004 and laid waste to a good chunk of the town of granby. when the dozer's engine finally died, the man killed himself. miraculously, up here in port angeles, no one was injured in barry's wrecking spree, but what set him off?
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what do you think was his big gripe? >> well, it really boils down to one of the neighbors, and that's dan davis. barry kept telling me that dan was pissing him off. doing little things to get him mad. they say good fences make good neighbors. well, not in this case. seems mr. davis had been trying to build a fence between his property and barry swegle's driveway. how far back does that go? >> oh, it goes back for years, over that fence up there. >> i think he wanted something that didn't belong to him and he was mad because we were fixing it. >> property lines are the most heated dispute between neighbors because people believe in lines and yet both neighbors believe the line is different. >> reporter: real estate mogul, barbara corcoran has seen so many of these disputes spin out of control she should be given a permanent seat on the un security counsel. >> it takes two to fight. if either of them had handled this intelligently the whole thing could not have happened.
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>> reporter: taking the long view, as in "from outer space" -- there's dan's property, and adjacent to it, barry's driveway. you can see how barry's trucks and heavy equipment wore a path across the corner of dan's property. >> and barry had logging equipment. his only way in and out was through this road. >> reporter: huh. yeah. >> so you need a pretty good-sized entrance to make the turn. >> reporter: make the corner. >> my place was surveyed when i bought it. and then i had it surveyed again so i could put a fence up. so i thought, "i'm gonna put my fence up there." ♪ >> barry didn't want that. with a fence up you're going to have to ride a little bit slower. you can do it just fine, but you gotta go slower. >> he'd knock it down, we'd go put it back. he'd knock it down and we'd go put it back. >> reporter: now dan davis was not about to be intimidated. but he's 75, with a bum knee and bad eyesight. by contrast, barry sweigle is a 245 pound paul bunyon in love with machinery.
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instead of babe the blue ox rusting, carcasses of his old toys line his driveway. >> if you knew barry, you know he's a big boy. >> and, so you know i'm 300 pounds and i don't, i'd be kinda scared of him if he went sideways. >> reporter: sideways, backwards, inside or out, jason says there was something else that made barry dangerous -- >> he didn't know me from adam and just flat-out said he had a meth problem, you know. and he's trying to get help, and nobody will help him. >> reporter: both barry's brother and local authorities confirm barry had a history of drug use, and a penchant for paranoia. >> he said we were the leaders of a gang that was coming over. they were coming through our property. and uh -- >> -- stealing his fuel. >> stealing his fuel. >> and his batteries. >> he thought that this mobile home had been surveying him in there, the government or somebody was watching him. >> reporter: even law enforcement had a growing file on the odd fellow living at
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2313 east ryan drive. >> he was out here with his backhoe, with his excavator, digging up his yard. and, digging 20-foot deep holes in this driveway right behind us. >> reporter: he was just digging holes? >> just digging holes. >> reporter: barry's bizarre brew of anger, heavy machines and paranoia finally came to a full boil on an otherwise beautiful morning last may. when he turned his attention back to his neighbor dan and that fence of his! >> he was saying something. i couldn't understand him. he was just bouncing up and down, giving me the finger. >> reporter: hmmm. >> well, the first time in my life i ever did it. i gave him the finger back. >> reporter: hmmm. >> then he drove off. and then i called the sheriff. >> communications, susan. >> yeah, susan, my name is dan davis. >> and i says, "well something's gonna happen here," i says. barry has been tearing our fence down for 10 to 12 years and i think he's gonna do it again. >> he just drove by here and he just harassed the hell out of me. >> about two-and-a-half hours
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later, then things basically hit the fan. >> he's smashing my house! >> smashing your house? >> reporter: when we come back, forget the fence. he's going to take out the whole neighborhood. >> yeah, now he's tearing the neighbor's place down. >> holy jesus. i gotta watch all of this. >> and so are you! >> reporter: next! ♪ ♪ that people are finally getting together. ♪
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>> reporter: dan davis and his neighbor, barry sweigle have been skirmishing over this fence for years. >> he'd knock it down. we'd go put it back. he'd knock it down and we'd go put it back. >> reporter: so like a run-up to a miniature war, dan drew his red line in the sand, literally with spray paint. rightly guessing the squabble was about to turn nuclear -- >> so i drove down to rite-aid, got two disposable cameras, came back, because i just had the feeling he was going to do something. >> reporter: dan's no photographer. in fact he's all thumbs, but still managed to fired off these shots, just as barry's dozer is about to take its first bite. >> and, i heard the bulldozer start. he was coming up our fence line. and, immediately he took and started tearing out my retainer wall, he took my fence out up to
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this point. and i thought that's exactly where he's going to stop, but he didn't. ♪ >> reporter: oh no, barry is just getting started. >> what shocked me was when that house started moving, it was -- -- and i look, look something like that. gets my curiosity up, and i'm interested. >> reporter: who wouldn't be? and thanks to a neighbor's cell phone video, we have your exclusive ring side seats to barry rumble in the rubble. watch this. >> he's smashing my house. >> smashing your house? >> my house -- he's trashing. >> reporter: and listen to this 911 call. dan's doing play-by-play of his own catastrophe. >> now he's back and running over my truck. right over my new diesel pickup. right over the top of it. >> it was a hell of a nice pickup. and, when i seen him go over that truck i, holy jesus! i gotta watch all of this, you know? >> reporter: the method to this
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madness suggest barry is nothing if not thorough. demolish house --check. crush pickup --check. up next, the power poles. >> you better get some cops up here with some guns because this son of a gun is crazy. >> 911 emergency. >> somebody hit the post. >> somebody did what? i'm sorry, to the power line? >> there's people walking around it. >> what a crazy! they should shoot that [ bleep ]. >> somebody's gonna shoot him. >> where's the [ bleep ]cops? >> reporter: by the time sheriff's deputies scream onto ryan drive, the electric lines have been flash dancing with 115-thousand volts sparking this exchange. >> looks like he's right on top of it. >> that's excellent!! >> reporter: when we showed three county linemen our exclusive video. >> oh, oh! he's got the blade up! >> the blade's up! >> ohhhh! holy crap! oh, there's the sparks! >> wow! >> very dangerous.
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extremely dangerous. >> he's lucky he didn't kill anybody. >> reporter: by now the whole neighborhood is in a panic, and with very good reason. [ screaming ] >> i can't understand you when you're screaming. >> reporter: like a crazed storm trooper, barry has suddenly changed targets, blasting through several back yards and fences, on his way to demolishing two more neighborhood homes. >> yeah, now he's tearing the neighbor's place down. >> reporter: after punching a hole in the side of a third house he takes aim at the main residence of dan and mary davis, where mary is napping, dozing as it were -- on a sofa. >> i was inside, right behind this window almost. >> reporter: what was once a window. >> yeah, and i kept hearing the noise, louder and louder. but i was, you know, about half-asleep. and my dog was acting funny. >> reporter: ernie, had every right to feel a little peculiar. all hell's breaking lose out there. mary's bedroom takes a direct hit. >> and i see a lady standing in
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the doorway, and i'm just, like screaming on the top of my lungs, like freaking out, "get out of the house! get out of the house!" >> reporter: next barry takes out mary's office, then the living room where she'd been sleeping. >> reporter: on foot now, deputies cortani and backes race to catch up. >> we were ramped up, there's no two ways about it. >> and the information we're getting of what we're potentially dealing with -- >> yeah. everybody's screaming, screaming at us, at us to shoot him. >> reporter: did you have your guns up on him? >> i had my gun aimed at him, and i got his attention by waving my other, my free hand. he looked, and he immediately surrendered. >> reporter: barry was booked on charges of malicious mischief, burglary and assault with a bulldozer, which by the way sits in a chain-link jail of its own, seized in evidence but a tad too big for the sheriff's weapons lockup. >> i think this was my first-ever bulldozer-as-weapon-of-choice case. >> reporter: jeff swegle has no doubt his brother is to blame for all this havoc, but wonders
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if deep down, the temptation to put a bulldozer between you and your troubles isn't something of a universal fantasy. you know, sort of in an imaginary way, i think we'd all at times like to have a bulldozer at our disposal. >> well, sure. >> reporter: you know? >> he did something that a lot of people wanted to do, that just didn't do it because of better judgment. >> reporter: yeah. what's it like up there? >> if you've never done it before, it's exciting. >> reporter: it's gotta be. >> 'cause nothing can stop you in the right piece of equipment. >> reporter: could i learn to operate something like that fairly quickly? >> sure. yeah. within five minutes you could be taught how to run one. >> reporter: truly. >> yeah. >> reporter: oh, you shouldn't have told me that! we found an old trailer home suitable for demolition, and i took the first few whacks. >> reporter: my technique needs a little work, but i'd be lying if i said it wasn't fun. of course, that's because no one's property or life was on
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the line, unlike say, sherman's march on atlanta, or barry swegle's trek through port angeles. >> reporter: mr. swegle now shuffles between jail and court, awaiting a judgment on his fate. his attorney hints that diminished mental capacity is likely to be part of his defense. as for the final tally of damages, it runs like this -- pickup truck --$40,000. tractor -- $16,000. boat --$8000. various homes and buildings --$300,000 images of barry's neighborhood block party, priceless. ever dream of getting back at a nabber, or has your
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neighbor pulled something like this, let us know on twitter. elizabeth and i will be right back. >> announcer: next, is this america's most notorious neighbor. >> she told me i was a [ bleep ]. >> i said is it illegal to be a [ bleep ]. >> it's not just the neighbors she's turning on. us, too. >> you know what, you need to move on. i already paid my deuce for it. >> when we return. [ male announcer ] since we began, mercedes-benz has pioneered many breakthroughs. ♪ breakthroughs in design... breakthroughs in safety... in engineering... and technology. and now our latest creation breaks one more barrier. introducing the cla. starting at $29,900. ♪ am i right, carl? applebee's new honey pepper grill entrees
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>> reporter: if there were a nasty neighbors hall of fame, this woman would be a first-ballot shoo-in. and these videos part of a high-light reel that's earned lori christensen an enduring if unflattering nickname. >> you've been called the neighbor from hell. she's behind bars. >> america's nastiest neighbor. >> the woman called the neighbor from hell. >> are you? >> i don't think so. i think i've just been trying to protect myself of being stalked and being bullied. bullied, she says, by her neighbors greg and kim hoffman
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but you won't be surprised to hear that the hoffmans and the courts see things quite differently. >> actions speak louder than words. her actions have shown, very simply, that she is the aggressor. >> flash back to 1999, when lori christensen and her daughter moved into this four bedroom house just across the street from the hoffman family they say things went from cordial to combative six years ago because of a spat between their daughters. >> and, um, i guess immediately she pretty much went off on me she was yelling and screaming -- >> had she ever screamed at you before? >> no. and, uh, i turned around and started to walk away. >> reporter: but walking away from the wrath of lori christensen wouldn't be that simple the hoffmans learned that the hard way after kim, a recovering alcoholic, suffered a dangerous relapse. >> she collapsed in front of me. >> reporter: she collapsed in front of you.
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>> yeah, i had my son call 911. >> reporter: christensen expressed her condolences in her own special way. >> she starts swearing at me, "you should have died. why don't you drink some more scotch." >> reporter: as the tension escalated, police were called over 100 times to this once quiet neighborhood. >> it took quite a while for, uh, kim and greg hoffman to convince me this wasn't a he said she said event. >> reporter: police chief lynn banks told them to start videotaping christensen's behavior. what their camera caught would prove to be the game changer in this conflict on the cul-de-sac. here's lori using a remote control car to simulate drunk driving during jake hoffmans 12th birthday party. another apparent dig.
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>> she started calling me a son of an alcoholic in front of my friends, and it wasn't something my friends were aware of, so it was an embarrassing situation. >> reporter: then there were these giant signs covering christensen's garage with insulting messages like "i saw mommy kissing a breathalyzer." but the video that got christensen the most attention was this bizarre mock strip tease. as you might imagine, the hoffmans got a restraining order that barred their neighbor from having any contact with them but christensen repeatedly violating it. it got so bad police even stormed her home to arrest her and she landed in jail twice! lost her government job and was eventually barred by a judge from returning to her own home! >> in the spirit of trying to get along with the people who you live across from why not just stop? >> i didn't wanna get -- why do i have to get along? why do i? >> well, you've been behind bars now because of a lot of this. >> why do i have to live my life to make them happy? >> reporter: this week, after attempting to withdraw a guilty plea on felony charges of
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violating a restraining order, lori christensen agreed to sit down with us and share her side of the story. she argued that the whole hoffman brou-ha-ha was mostly about jealousy. >> so, and in fact, that's part of what you assert, that other people were jealous of you, the hoffmans specifically were jealous of what you had. >> absolutely. >> and you believe that's where this all stems from? >> well, that and greg wanting to have a relationship with me. a relationship? >> it is just another thing that lori creates in order to justify her behavior. it just never existed. >> reporter: did the neighbor-from-hell want to deny or at least apologize for some of her alleged behavior? nope. >> kim said that when you told her, "why don't you drink some more scotch," you prefaced it with, "you should have died." >> that was after her kid stole my bike and she came out drunk. and i looked -- >> but is there ever an excuse to say that to someone? >> why not? why not? don't come out -- >> i think most people would say no, especially in front of children. >> you know what? she comes stumblin' out and
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she's growling. got you know, all bitchin' at me. "ah, you leave my kids alone. and you can't talk to my kids." i go, "you know what, during -- it's -- kim. go and drink some more scotch. maybe you'll die." >> and you don't feel bad about saying that? >> no. why? because that's was where she was headed. >> reporter: christensen also admits to those garage door signs, but says they weren't all directed at the hoffmans. >> i saw mommy kissing a breathalyzer. >> no. that was new year's eve. and all the met council buses, that was the logo that year. i have pictures of every metropolitan council bus driving down the street that said, "i saw mama kissing a breathalyzer." i'm a maad supporter. >> so it wasn't directed at kim hoffman? >> oh, absolutely not. >> i find it very difficult to believe that advertising that in such a manner is gonna be very effective. >> reporter: as for that suggestive driveway dance lori says she was fed up with greg hoffman constantly videotaping her. >> but that doesn't look bizarre or, as some people have said, crazy -- >> why should be -- why should a guy that shaves his
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head be standing across the street videotaping me every night? do you not find that bizarre? >> if the guy wants to sit home and watching me i'll give you somethin' to record and watch me. >> reporter: at that point, during a break, we got a taste of the christensen temper for ourselves. >> move on! it's [ bleep ] sick and tired of listening to the same thing over and over. let's talk about what happened in 2012. the hoffmans -- >> when you get back let's do it. >> reporter: after things settled down, we moved on -- >> there was the moment when police had to break into your home and i mean at that point are you thinking, "this isn't," >> do you know what -- >> "worth it." >> that was? >> but you were engaging with and you weren't supposed to. and if you weren't -- >> no, i wasn't -- >> engaging. >> [ bleep ] engaging. >> reporter: christensen insists the local police, including chief lynn banks, have had it out for her from the start. >> lynn banks and i have never talked i have a conversation recorded with lynn banks where she called me a monster.
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>> why do you think she thinks that of you, though? >> why? >> uh-huh. >> because i was a single gal and i was assertive. she told me i was a [ bleep ] i says, "is it illegal to be a beach [ bleep ] >> i can be. i'm assertive. i hold my own. but i'm also very compassionate person. >> sitting in my office, across from me, i said, "lori, why? why can't you just stop this?" she looked me right in the eye and said, "it's my lifelong goal to make these people's life miserable." if you are a bully, we are not gonna let you act like that in this community. if you're just plain mean there's going to be consequences. >> reporter: tonight, christensen is awaiting more consequences a sentence on her latest felony charge. she faces up to 10 years probation and remains barred from her home. it's on the market in case you're interested but lori's sure not giving it the hard sell. >> how do you describe that neighborhood? >> ghetto. pretty low class.
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i guess, you know, it's social classes. we were just maybe at a different rung than the rest of the neighborhood. >> if you could say anything to the hoffmans right now, what would you say to them? >> get a life. leave me alone. move on. move on, greg. it's never gonna happen between us. >> reporter: luckily the hoffmans seem eager to do just that. >> knowing that she is not gonna be back in this neighborhood, um, is unbelievable. >> reporter: so your long, hard fight, does it feel worth it now? >> absolutely. people shouldn't have to get up and move, or relocate, because you have a neighbor that is making your life miserable. so, we took our neighborhood back. luckily a happy ending there. we want to know, do you have crazy neighbor stories, let us know using the #abc 2020 on twitter. we'll be right back. >> next -- >> this is not home sweet home.
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>> when all else fails, he's the guy who can get a neighborhood peace treaty. >> why is he threatening your dog? >> most of the time. >> if we sit down together. >> absolutely not. >> can he work his magic here? ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the new twin turbo xts from cadillac. 410 available horses. ♪ room for four. twice the fun. ♪ ♪
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when you have toxic neighbors, who will you call to fix things? well, the man you're about to meet, who has the guts to get into the middle of a mess. so blessed are the peace makers indeed. he'll need all the extra blessings he can get. can he work miracles? >> hi, jamie, it's bob borzotta calling, neighbors from hell, how are you? >> reporter: that's bob borzotta, working the phones at the national headquarters of neighbors from hell. >> and, what is it that has brought them to throw things over into your yard? >> reporter: don't tell his wife, she thinks it's just their house. >> why is he threatening your dog? >> reporter: borzotta wrote the book on neighbors from hell. >> what kinds of things qualify somebody to be a quote neighbor from hell?
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>> it starts out with noise -- >> is that the number one complaint? >> that is the number one complaint. >> reporter: like these noisy neighbors shouting from the roof-tops on the local news in st. louis. >> you're talking out your, kid. >> okay. uh-huh. >> and it's a big one. >> yeah. >> it is a biggie. >> nut job. >> reporter: nuts to soup or some kind of grass killing poison brew spewing out the window of that truck. neighbor versus neighbor miami style. rock paper scissors? this one got settled with rocks, eggs, and nails. borzotta agreed to take us on a guided tour of two fresh neighbor from hell hot spots. first stop -- a subdivision in warrenton, missouri. in this corner -- karman and mike lucas and tracy and robert nichols and just across the cul de sac their neighbors and sworn enemies. beth and mike kendall. >> nosy. >> very un-neighborly. very nosy.
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>> reporter: they say nosy, she says noisy. hear that? beth kendall says it's mike lucas in a high decibel drive-by. assault with a sub-woofer. >> apparently our radio was too loud, and she called the police. >> who exactly gets ticketed here? it's not me. >> neighbors by chance enemies by choice. >> they don't like the fact that i have called the police on them for things that i know are ordinance violations. >> reporter: to hear the kendalls tell it, their neighbors are a band of suburban outlaws. billy the kid of the cul de sac. their misdeeds? a car up on blocks, parking over the sidewalk, and disturbing the peace. not a hanging crime, even in missouri. but it could get you a ticket. >> this sounds like junior high school. >> it is to us on the outside, it is not like that to them, it is very serious business. >> reporter: the kendall's adversaries say they suspect there's a reason tickets are handed out like skittles on
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halloween. beth kendall is a former town alderman. that's her at a meeting last year. >> you say you do not wield any political influence over the local authorities. >> no, absolutely not. >> reporter: these neighbors say kendall is the lone ranger when it comes to the law or the lawn. >> she comes to our yard if the grass is so tall with a measuring tape, and has called the police because our grass has been so many inches high. >> reporter: kendall denies she ever measured grass in the neighbors yards, and even though there are signs in their garage that they might not be big on compromise. they say they're not the bad guys. >> it's all about respecting the law. it's the loud music, it's the, the speeding up and down the street, it's the loud cars waking me up on saturday mornings. um, it's their dogs running loose. >> reporter: and then the lucas and nichols say in spite of everything they're willing to give peace if not quiet a chance. could there be a missouri compromise? >> if they would communicate with you?
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>> yes. >> would you be willing to communicate with them? >> yeah. >> and if we could all sit down together i think that would be -- >> no absolutely not. i respect these people, but they'll never be on my property or in my home. >> reporter: meanwhile -- >> lets go to ohio. >> reporter: borzotta is off to troy, ohio. where they still talk about this youtube classic -- [ shouting ] >> reporter: of course most of troy is civilized, even scenic. but those life-like statues could be stand-ins for another pitched neighbor battle over on mayfield drive. >>this is not home sweet home. it's been horrible. >> reporter: melissa zimmerman says her neighbor from hell lives right across the street. >> that's the neighbor's house, right there? >>this one right here across the street. >> reporter: that is mitch whalen's house. borzotta was polite about the shrubbery. >> very pretty, it's just a little overgrown. >> reporter: zimmerman was not. >> that house reminds me of a
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haunted house. >> reporter: before and after pictures show over the years whalen's house has undergone some kind of miracle gro transformation. zimmerman could overlook the jack and the beanstalk landscaping, she says, if it weren't for all the other antics she's documented over the years. she says whalen threatened her with a real knife, and a pretend gun. >> he's out there. [ imitating shooting noises ] >> reporter: she says her surveillance cameras show whalen has also been shooting a laser beam into her house at night . but what really hurt a few years ago, she says he began, questioning her son's paternity. she says whalen painted a message on one of his trees. >> it was on the side right facing our front window, in big orange letters, which my son has orange hair, it said, dna, right on the front of the tree. >> reporter: and she says there's the name calling. >> calling me a whore, calling me a [ bleep ] >> reporter: she says you can
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hear it in this home video from a number of years ago. >> what are you doing on my property? >> well sir we're on the sidewalk here. >> reporter: borzotta and our crew were shooting when mitch whalen himself emerged from behind the bushes. >>mr. whalen? >> yeah? >> hi i'm bob borzotta, i sent you a letter. don't know if you happened to receive it yet. >> reporter: to interrupt for one second. instant replay please. did you notice the hang-time on that handshake? mitch finally did shake. but that was about the only progress. >> what is all this? >> this is for abc news. they follow me. well mr. whalen i wonder, maybe you'd just want to talk to me by myself? >> reporter: borzotta says, off- camera, whalen complained about zimmerman's floodlights, loud parties and even the fact that she's a single mother. why is that his business? >> exactly, but he felt that it would be appropriate for him to comment. >> borzotta says whalen told him he just wants it all to stop. >> mitch repeatedly says to me,
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all he wants is to be left alone. >> reporter: but, but take a look at this surveillance video. it shows the 20/20 camera crew leaving melissa zimmerman's house. less than 60 seconds later, there goes that nasty red laser beam again, shooting from whalen's house into zimmerman's window. >> it's sad to say that i don't even like to come here. this is my home, and i dread having to come in and get, park in my driveway, and come in the front door. >> why does anybody wanna live in, in that kind of a situation? why wouldn't you want to make peace? >> it, it's a question for the ages. why people will actually enjoy conflict. >> reporter: borzotta is in touch with those neighbors willing to keep talking. these things can be resolved, he says, but only when both sides compromise or one side moves out. >> it's a horrible thing to go through, having a neighbor from hell.
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>> so it really removes all your escape options. >> uh, please god protect me. protect all of us. to find out his top ten hints to defuse nasty neighbors go to our web site. david and i will be right back. >> announcer: coming up, the neighborhood watch goes high tech. all online. from catching robbers to tossing raccoons. could this be the next facebook? >> there's a potentially creepy aspect to all of this. >> announcer: a place to post everyone's business and tell them yours. next. next door, that is. [ male announcer ] we love our devices... until we see the new one. technology doesn't wait. ♪
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>> announcer: 20/20 tjsz r continues with nick watt and the people next door, literally. >> reporter: early one wednesday morning surveillance cameras
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capture the fedex guy dropping a package at cecil lawson's place in san jose, california. >> can't get the gate open. >> reporter: he drops it over. >> lucky it wasn't fragile. >> reporter: inside that package, thermal underwear. now watch this. seconds later, a guy pulls up in a porsche and purloins those underpants. >> somebody driving a $70,000 porsche is stealing thermal underwear from your driveway? >> it was right there. proof is in the pudding. >> reporter: a week later, replacement underwear arrives and bang, the same guy snaffles it. cecil posted his video evidence on a new social network called >> everybody started actively looking for the guy. >> reporter: a neighborhood manhunt, triggered with the click of a mouse. >> this incident with cecil's stolen thermal underwear.
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you broke the case. >> well, i guess -- i guess -- yeah. i just followed him to the light and took a picture of his license plate. >> reporter: the thermal underwear bandit is now facing hard time. and this sleepy subdivision could be the blueprint for the neighborhood of our future. bristling with cameras, united online, guard dogs. yap, yap not required. >> i feel you are under less scrutiny if you were in north korea. >> yeah, no. well, there is a tradeoff between, you know, keeping yourself safe and having a police state. but you want to feel empowered. >> reporter: and this thing is spreading like crabgrass, currently sprouting in nearly 20,000 neighborhoods, growing its membership by 500% in the past year. okay, so what is it exactly? well, think of like a hyper-local facebook for your hood. only locals can join.
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only locals can access the site you post comments and videos, but unlike facebook's frivolity, it's more local events and recommendations for dentists or electricians. this guy in san francisco posted video of a raccoon attacking his dog to warn neighbors. another guy in alaska posted video of a neighbor's house on fire. and as we've seen in san jose, a lot of people use to talk about crime. >> the police no longer are responding to burglar alarms. >> reporter: dave coburn is what they call the lead of the local he's eager to show off lots more surveillance video shared on the site. >> so this was a neighbor's house, 6:00 in the morning, you can see there's two suspects. >> bang, he's in the car. >> he's in the car, just like that. and so then this gets posted on next door, and then everyone in the neighborhood is wary to -- >> is on the lookout.
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>> reporter: a jaw-dropping 64% of the people in this neighborhood have signed up. here they are yucking it up at a little soiree round at dave's house, advertised, of course, in the events section most folks here are loving the increased sociability. >> i think it gives you information, things that are happening in the neighborhood, so we can watch out for each other. >> i think we had a couple of people who are, for whatever reason, reluctant to join. they may be carrying on an extra-marital affair. >> reporter: are there any aspects of it that you don't like? >> i think it feeds paranoia a little bit amongst some of the homeowners. >> we don't like the worry, but we like the preparation. >> reporter: founder nirav tolia thinks he's gonna make our world a better place. >> we look at today, where almost 30% of americans don't know a single neighbor by name, we ask ourselves, how did that happen? i'll tell you the how it happened, people have retreated indoors to watch tv, and tool around on the internet. we're more suspicious. we assume our neighbors are
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weirdos. ironically, wants to use the technology that drove us indoors to reverse that trend, and these guys have global ambitions. >> we think that nextdoor is for every neighborhood. every neighborhood. >> every single neighborhood. >> reporter: wouldn't be the same without the glorious video sharing. and it's cameras like this little baby, the dropcam, that are getting all the money shots. dropcam and nextdoor are totally separate companies. but it is the perfect marriage. >> there's a potentially slightly creepy aspect to this. >> yeah, i suppose there is. >> reporter: you can rig a dropcam to be motion activated, to send you a text when it's triggered. you can watch, live, on your phone, from anywhere in the world, what's happening at your house. melissa from seattle was vacationing in idaho when she got a text from the camera in her garage. and this is what she saw, live.
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>> the first thing i thought was, is this real? that's real. a real dude in a ski mask. and that's happening live! >> so i called my neighbor. >> reporter: a neighbor who immediately called 911. police arrived and the thief ran off, dropping everything he'd taken. dropcam won't say how many cameras they sell, but they will say their servers are uploading more video every day than youtube. >> this country's gonna be bristling with cameras recording everything that any of us ever does. >> yeah. >> i think it's ultimately a good thing, because we put the video in control of each individual user. >> reporter: ever wondered what your pets get up to when you're not home? now you could know. ever wondered whose dog is pooping in your yard? now you can catch the little rascal. ever wondered why a package is damaged? yup, that's pretty good evidence right there. okay, do you have these cameras rolling constantly?
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>> all the time. >> reporter: this is our future. we could all end up like these good people of san jose. a virtual neighborhood watch. with video evidence of your every move. ♪ ♪ i'm watching you tonight. ♪ it's in those blue eyes. ♪ sweet surprise. ♪ that everything feels right. ♪ tonight. ♪ oooooooo.
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