<Crossposted to the usual places:>Well, January 26th has gone and went and things got rescheduled by the courts. Fred The Illegal Builder is still wandering around free as a jaybird. But he's got a busy docket:1) Tomorrow (2/4), there is a "civil motion" hearing in regards to his lawsuit against his mortgage company.2) March 26th, trial between Drywall Contractor (who did my house and Fred's house) and Fred.3) April 19th, trials for (1) his 3rd DUI, (2) driving w/o license or insurance, (3) fraud, (4) not paying into builder's fund. In the meantime, last week, we finally had a couple of home inspectors over to write an opinion of the quality of the drywall in my house. Fred withheld payment to Drywall Contractor, saying it was crap. Inspectors say it is not crap. Now we wait until March. However, the same inspectors were supposed to inspect Fred's house that evening, too. The inspectors drove over to Fred's house (he lives 120 feet away from me), knocked on the door, but no one answered. The inspectors came back to my house, and as we were standing outside my garage talking about the situation, a bedroom light turned on over at Fred's house and someone appeard at the window. Looks like Fred isn't going to let anyone in. We reported this to DC's lawyer.Now for the exciting part. In the last hearing on Fred's DUI, the judge told Fred if he was caught driving, he would be jailed and kept in jail until the April 19th trial. Talking to the prosecuting attorney, though, we found out the only way we can catch Fred at driving is to follow him while he's driving, call 911 on a cell phone, and have a sheriff's deputy or town policeman catch up with us and "catch" Fred driving.My neighbor, Dirk (not his real name), has had even MORE bad experiences with Fred and he's lost around six figures from what Fred screwed him out of, plus court costs. Dirk has been supplying the county prosecuting attorney of all the information and evidence going on in the fraud, plus notifying them of Fred's driving activity. So Dirk has an interest in catching Fred and having him sent up the river as well.We also have seen that Fred has been switching license plates (between his Corvette, his Dodge pickup, and his Ford pickup).Anyway, today after work (I work at home), I was in my garage about to go pick up my kids at daycare. At that moment, Fred started driving his red Dodge pickup out his driveway. I hopped in the Aztek and sped out of my garage. ALSO, Dirk went speeding by in his Expedition at the same time. (Our driveways are parallel to each other.)We get onto our gravel road, first Fred, then Dirk, then me. We only go up the road a few hundred yards and Fred turns right onto a side road, which is really just a 1/2-mile long paved road with a cul-de-sac. Not sure why Fred did that. Dirk pulls onto the road and drives halfway and stops. I drive in, then I pull alongside of Dirk to the left of him, basically blocking the street. We roll down our windows. We see Fred at the end of the cul-de-sac, stopped. "What now?""I'll call 911,", Dirk says. He starts dialing and talking to the dispatcher.At that moment, Fred ROARED around both of us, driving on the shoulder to get around us (wasn't too hard, there was only a few inches of snow). Dirk stays put, talking to 911. I slap the Aztek into reverse and floored it!. I discover that my traction control works great in reverse! Anyway, I get quickly turned around and I chase after Fred. I just about catch up with him at the stop sign and he makes a left turn and he heads back to his house. Also, I noticed that Fred's 10-year-old daughter was in the truck with him.Fred probably made it home before Dirk could finish his phone call with the county dispatcher.All-in-all, I really hope that Fred is caught by another means, as I'd rather not be in ANY chase again, not knowing what he'll do next. My fear is that if I do tail him again and he starts to flee at an excessive speed, something catastrophic will happen, namely to other people on the road. (We have several 4-way stop signs in our neighborhood and I'm afraid that he'll blow the stop signs and kill someone.)At best, I hope that Fred knows he's being watched and watched specifically for his driving.I've already emailed the county prosecuting attorney with the details our our "chase". Not that that can really be used as evidence (it can't), but that it gives her something to work with and gives her a knowledge of what Fred is capable of.I hope that Fred just does something dumb and gets caught by the local cops on something else like 45MPH in a 35 zone and gets nabbed that way, other than risking Dirk's or my neck.More to come.Duck
Duck,The chase thing was dangerous, as you pointed out. Won't (can't) the prosecutor accept a video tape? Record his driving on tape maybe while describing it to the 911 op. The audio on the camcorder will match the 911 tape. Voila! Jailbird.But what do I know?Ken
The chase thing was dangerous, as you pointed out. Won't (can't) the prosecutor accept a video tape? Record his driving on tape maybe while describing it to the 911 op. The audio on the camcorder will match the 911 tape. Voila! Jailbird. Not admissable, per the county prosecuting attorney's office. Too much opportunity to fake/falsify, plus no guarantee we can prove it's Fred driving unless we had an excellent head shot. A "neutral third party" has to observe and catch Fred in the act, so that's why the PA's only suggestion was to tail Fred and call the cops and have them catch Fred in the act.I agree, I wish videotape was accepted. I worked in an insurance company office in Tennessee, we handled worker's comp claims. But our investigators used videotape primarily to catch cheaters and it WAS admissable in court. So I was frustrated with my current PA and her explanation.Duck
Not admissable, per the county prosecuting attorney's office. It's admissible, as long as you are there to say that you shot it, made no edits, blah, blah, blah. Giving your prosecutors the benefit of the doubt, the likely concern is that you, as the photographer, have animosity toward good ol' fred. Thus, his lawyer will try to make the jury think that you faked the shots. Would go to the weight of the evidence and possibly weaken it substantially--although I doubt it, unless you are a professional (or dedicated amateur) video effects editor.Steve
Got some good news. The county PA got my email this morning, I don't think she actually expected me and Dirk to go speeding around the county chasing Fred.She wants us to appear in court February 26 to file a a motion for bond violation. She's not sure it will do anything, but she still wants all notes, records, and instances of Fred driving.I think I've made it clear to her that Dirk and I will keep bugging her about Fred, so she said in her email to us, "...this has got to stop".Duck
"...this has got to stop".Fred or your bugging of her? ;-)
Fred or your bugging of her? ;-) Seriously, it could be either. If you were a county prosecuting attorney, handling several dozen criminal cases a day in a mid-sized city and county, would you want two victims badgering you all day about some low-life swindler, considering there's a hundred more violent criminals out walking the streets?Duck
About 8 years ago a similar situation occurred in St. Louis, MO. although it was not over construction....it was a personal fight. One man pursured the other and finally hired a hit man to kill him. In the course of the trial 'harrassment' and 'vigilanti' came into the evidence submitted.The cost of the hit man was $200.00. The cost of a human life was just $200.00 dollars.....all over anger and revenge. One man dead and the other in jail (I forget the length of the sentence given).Given that this is an unstable individual, who has so much pressure upon him, I would give serious consideration for my family's safety and let the law handle it. You saw that Fred's daughter was in the car and a car chase jeopardized that innocent child.You have done your civic duty and furthur activity on your part cast a reflection upon you. I think that is what the words...."this has got to stop" means. That lady is trying to tell you something and you are not picking up on her meaning. She could reasonably be thinking she has more than one problem out there which could easily escalate into a major issue. What do you suppose the police department is thinking about this on-going fued.....remember, you are pursuing him, and all your documentation and visits are evidence of that pursuit. Fred knows you are the one causing this, and where you and your family live! Think about it!
Fred knows you are the one causing this, and where you and your family live! Think about it! Fred has been all talk and no substance so far. I briefly mentioned that my neighbors have been feuding with Fred long before I even moved to the area. They have even lost more money due to Fred's shenanigans, well over $150,000, and this has been going on with them for four years. They have 3 small children, and they live even closer to Fred than I do (80 yards). If Fred was going to do something rash, he has a bigger agenda with Dirk than he does with me.But no, the prosecuting attorney seriously has indicated that Fred's driving "has got to stop". She has told me she would like to have Fred jailed more than I do. She's already petitioned twice for Fred to be jailed just based on our "hearsay" verbal evidence, but she's also told us over and over again that videotapes aren't sufficient and not admissable.DUck
Fred has been all talk and no substance so far. I once worked with a man of non-US ancestry. He was a very kind and gentle man, easy to get along with. The "bully" in the department picked on him constantly, because he was a 'safe' target - he never responded in anger. One day, apparently he had enough. The 'bully' started into him, and the gentle man picked up the closest object, a stapler, and proceeded to staple down the length of the 'bully's arm. The bully was stunned. The gentle man was escorted out by security.I've witnessed other, similar situations. IMHO, everyone has a breaking point, and will do unexpected and irrational things when they are pushed beyond that point. Problem is, we usually don't know where that point is, or what will push them beyond that point.I LIKE chatting you guys and gals. I'd like to see us all here to chat, for a long time - so no chasing crazy people and no making your nose light up with high voltage - OK?
If you were a county prosecuting attorney, handling several dozen criminal cases a day in a mid-sized city and county, would you want two victims badgering you all day about some low-life swindler, considering there's a hundred more violent criminals out walking the streets?Gee, would it move up her priority list if that fool speeds his truck into a tree and kills his daughter?
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