Bad Dick!

We call our next door neighbor Richard Cranium because we don’t want the kids to pick up on “Dick Head.”

I gave up on killing him with kindness about 5 years ago. When I moved in with Brian, I said, “I’m going to make that guy be friendly with us!” I had heard horror stories over the years about how awful this guy was.

10 years later, 4 failed attempts at mediation (he refuses), a police report we filed for harassment & trespassing.

We called the police several years ago because he had dumped a bunch of hedge clippings in our yard. Brian went over and told him to clean it up, to which Richard Cranium replied, “Fuck off!”

We called Resolutions Northwest to seek mediation, and every time we saw him outside, we’d ask him when he was going to come clean up his mess. Finally, after nearly a month, I got so fed up with the mess that I cleaned up the clippings and dumped them on his grass. We came home later that day and he had neatly piled all the yard debris back in our yard, in the middle of our path, about 8′ in from the sidewalk. I called the Police non-emergency line (503-823-3333 in Portland, btw) and asked, “At what point is this harassment and trespassing?” To which the operator replied, “Right about now. We’ll send an officer over.”

The police officer warned him about trespassing, and actually made him clean up the yard debris:

Cleaning up his mess under police supervision, circa 2008

Every time he attacks us, it ends up biting him in the ass. Seriously, when he complained to the city about our retaining wall, nearly every other neighbor on the block had to replace their sidewalks, including him. Once he sent a threatening letter (on his law firm letterhead, trying to be extra-intimidating!) about how he would remove our retaining wall because it was 5″ over the property line. He implied that a survey had been taken, so we demanded to see the survey. A few days later, a survey crew was out there, and it turns out his fence was actually over the property line on OUR side!

So why does he keep coming after us when it always turns out badly for him? Definition of insanity?

He’s definitely escalating lately. Last week he was raking his leaves into the street in front of our house when I arrived home. I was staring at him, trying to decide if it was worth confronting him, when he called me a bitch! Right there in front of my children! We called the police, but they said it was free speech. Seriously, in front of my children? So Brian told him to stop trying to bully us, and we called Resolutions Northwest again.

Today is leaf removal day, when the city sweeps the streets. We parked our cars directly in front of our house, because we were worried that he’d park his car in front of our house, preventing our leaves from being removed. Instead, he used his leaf blower to blow the leaves out of his yard into ours:

He blew them out from under his boxwood bushes, after Brian spent most of the afternoon yesterday clearing all the leaves out of our yard.

Brian went out and confronted him:

BRIAN: “Hey, why are blowing your leaves in my yard?”

RICHARD CRANIUM: “Hey Dumb Shit, how’s it hanging?”

B: “Stop blowing your leaves in my yard.”

RC: “Why don’t you blow me?”

B: “I think you’d like that.”

RC: “Maybe I would, why don’t come try it?”

B: “Why don’t you just stop trying to be a bully?”

RC: “Well you’re a dumbshit.”

B: “Maybe I am. But you’re a bully. So stop it.”

We both agreed that confrontation got weird in a hurry. How’s it hanging? Come blow me?

Brian came in, and we decided to call the police non-emergency line again. We are concerned that he seems to be escalating, and clearly attempting to provoke a physical confrontation.

RC looked up and saw me on the phone, so he cleared up most of the leaves from the sidewalk and quickly sped away in his car.

He left just enough to be annoying. Jackass. Of course all the leaves he blew in the yard are still there.

The police offered to send an officer over to talk with us, but we decided to just try mediation again. I don’t know why I worry about seeming like I’m over-reacting. It just seems to petty to call the cops over a leaf incident. But this isn’t just about the leaves. This is about RC’s ongoing harassment of us. His attempts at intimidation.

But other than yelling at him, calling the cops and seeking mediation, there’s not a whole lot we can do. He WANTS Brian to attack him physically. He’s purposefully trying to bully us and provoke a physical confrontation, and we won’t give him the pleasure. He always tries to intimidate me, saying, “I’m a lawyer, and I can destroy you.” Well we’re not lawyers, but we’re not stupid either. So we document. And we try for mediation. And we hope this all goes away soon.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Bad Dick!

  1. As you know the Dick in my life has been providing me hours of entertainment, but this Dickhead sounds miserable. Is he actually open to mediation? You are so smart to document. I wonder what his underlying issue is. Maybe he wasn’t breastfed.

  2. kevin

    sometimes you need to get someone he does not know involved to make him a deal he can’t refuse.

  3. What a nightmare! He must be one hell of a miserable person. Sorry about the language.

  4. Christine

    Wow! What a jerk! And I thought I had a good neighbor/leaf story. Yours blows mine out of the water! Good luck, and I hope he moves soon!

  5. mdott922

    Ugh! This sounds very much like my parents’ neighbor, who is also a lawyer (albeit retired). He once sued them, saying they were flooding his yard, even though he lives *uphill* from them. He apparently tried to have the previous owner of my parents’ house arrested for parking his RV too long in his driveway–the man’s wife was dying and he had it there for family to stay.

    I wish I had some advice for you. The advice given to my parents several years ago when they bought their house was, “Don’t worry, he’ll die soon.” Seriously.

    Why is always lawyers?

    Oh, and I love the moniker Richard Cranium!

  6. Trevor Hopper

    I’m thinking some research into his firm, maybe some media exposure… Run him out of town. Personally I’d be at the physical point by now so I commend you guys on your patience… Get creative though on ways to drive him out. keep up the police calls… Paper trails work in your favor. After three viable incidents you can get a stalking order. Imagine a lawyer with a stalking order. Not very reputable….

  7. Mandalay Lady

    Hi Krista, we should compare notes sometime. I had a bully next door for approximately 30 years. I always told myself that I would outlive him and that I was glad that whatever happened to him in his life to make him the way he was had not happened to me. I would not want to be him. He finally passed away about a year ago. I felt so guilty for the relief I felt at his death. He tortured me and made me miserable, and I felt guilty because I was glad he was gone. How unbelievable is that. I still am not completely comfortable in my garden, and find myself looking over my shoulder expecting him to show up. Protect your children from this at all costs. You have my complete sympathy and support.

    • Oh, I’m so sorry – that sounds terrible. I can easily ignore him most of the time, but ever so often, he goes on the warpath. I wouldn’t feel guilty if I were you, but maybe you should do some cleansing rituals so you don’t have his presence looming over our garden!

      • Mandalay

        Thank you Krista, that is a wonderful idea. I will have to think about what I want to do and how I want to do it. It will be my New Years Day activity. Start the new year off with a clean fresh garden slate. Thank you.

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