Trespassing On The Law

, , , , | Legal | October 3, 2018

(My family has a hunting cabin in a very rural area. Our land borders part of a national forest, and there is another piece of private property on the other side of the national forest land. Nobody in my family has ever met the person or people who own this other property. Because the property lines are difficult to follow when you’re walking through the forest, my dad has mapped all of the boundaries with his GPS unit so we know exactly where the boundaries are. One day during deer hunting season, I’m in my deer stand on national forest land when a man rides directly under my stand with his ATV.)

Man: “Hey! Get off of my property or I’ll call the cops!”

Me: *realizing he must be the owner of the neighboring property* “Sir, I’m on national forest land.”

Man: “Like h*** you are! That’s it. I’m calling the Department of Natural Resources. Stay here and we’ll get an officer out to settle this.”

(The man rides away. I assume he’s going to his cabin to make his call, and knowing that I have done nothing wrong, I stay in my stand. About an hour later, the man returns with a DNR officer.)

Man: “Here we are. As you can see, this man here has been on my property all day.”

Officer: “Well, let’s look at the GPS.” *he checks his GPS unit* “Sir, according to my GPS, this stand is actually on national forest land.”

Man: “Like h*** it is! I mapped the boundary line out last year, and put up No Trespassing signs all along the line. Come on over and I’ll show you the closest sign.”

(We all walk over to the man’s “No Trespassing” sign, and the officer checks his GPS again.)

Officer: “Actually, this sign is also on national forest land, and since it’s illegal to put private No Trespassing signs on national forest land, I’m going to have to write you a citation for that.”

(I thanked the officer and walked back to my cabin, fighting to contain my laughter until I was well out of hearing range. I’ve continued hunting in that same spot for several years since that story took place, and have never seen any sign of the man since.)

Talking Complete (Pit) Bull

, , , , , | Legal | September 30, 2018

(My dog is a pretty large rescue pit-bull who would never hurt a person, but we believe that he was an escapee from a dog-fighting ring. We found him lost and wandering, and the vet said his injuries were indicative of fighting. He is very aggressive toward any other animal he’s near. We counteract this by only ever letting him run in our fenced backyard, and keep him harnessed when we walk him. He’s only ever gotten loose once or twice, never with serious consequences. Other people in my neighborhood take no such precautions, usually letting their dogs run loose in their front yards, but generally their dogs will stay in the yards, and if I cross the street, I’m fine. However, one night, a loose dog runs up across the street to me.)

Me: “Hey, excuse me, hey! Please come get your dog!”

Neighbor: *sitting on her porch, not getting up* “Oh, it’s okay; he’s friendly!”

Me: *straining to keep my growling dog from jumping on the smaller one, trying to walk away* “Mine isn’t! My dog is very aggressive. Please come get your dog!”

Neighbor: “Oh, it’s fine; he’s very friendly!”

Me: “MINE ISN’T! COME GET YOUR DOG!”

Neighbor: “Gosh, all right.”

(She slowly stands up and starts making her way down the porch steps. At this point, my dog is barking like crazy, snapping, and generally doing everything he can to get at this other dog, who’s still coming towards him. I put myself in between them to keep them apart, and am yelling at my dog to stop. My dog is still trying to snap at the other dog, and the other dog is trying to get around me, nipping at my ankles as he does so, hurting me. The neighbor is standing in her yard, watching.)

Me: “HURRY UP AND GET YOUR F****** DOG!”

Neighbor: “They’re so close; I don’t want to get in the middle of it!”

Me: “GET YOUR DOG RIGHT NOW!”

(My dog lunges, and I use my shin to push the other dog out of his reach, figuring it’s better if he gets shoved a little than if he needs stitches later on.)

Neighbor: “Did you just kick my dog?!”

Me: “YOU NEED TO COME AND GET YOUR DOG, OR MINE IS GOING TO BITE HIM!”

(She finally walks across the street and grabs her dog’s collar. The dog is squirming away from her, still trying to get at my dog. I’m still trying to keep distance between the two, feeling pretty angry and upset at this point, when she drops this gem.)

Neighbor: “It’s just taking a minute, since I don’t have his leash.”

Me: “WELL, WHY IS YOUR DOG OUTSIDE WITHOUT HIS LEASH?!”

Neighbor: “He’s so well-behaved, he doesn’t need one!”

(The dogs are finally separated, so at this point, I turn to her and actually manage to speak rationally.)

Me: “Running up to strange dogs is not well-behaved. I’m not the only person in this neighborhood with an aggressive dog, and you’re going to get yours killed if you don’t keep him restrained. You need to keep him on a leash, and when you hear someone say, ‘My dog is aggressive; come get yours,’ you need to understand that it doesn’t matter how friendly yours is. You need to keep him under control.”

Neighbor: “Well, maybe you need to keep yours under better control!”

Me: “I did. I kept him on a leash and away from your yard when I saw your dog was loose. Your dog ran up to us, your dog attacked us, and your dog bit me.” *holds up my leg so that she can see the blood on my ankles from her dog’s bite* “I could call animal control and have them take him away right now, and you would be entirely at fault, but I’m not going to do that. What we’re going to do, is you’re going to put your dog inside, I’m going to take mine home, and then you’re going to give me a copy of your dog’s shot records so I know whether or not I need a rabies vaccine. And then you are never going to let your dog run loose in your front yard again, all right?”

Neighbor: “That’s not fair! My dog isn’t sick, and he would never bite you! I think your dog bit you; he’s so aggressive.”

Me: “Mine doesn’t bite humans. And he was in front of me the whole time. These bites are on the backs of my legs, and they came from your dog. So, if I do need a vaccine, you’re paying for it.”

Neighbor: “This isn’t my fault!”

Me: “YES, IT IS! You let your dog run wild, you didn’t come down to get him the second he left your yard — and by the way, him running off-leash in an open yard is illegal, too — and you are responsible for what he’s done!”

Neighbor: “Your dog was the one who started it, though! If he had just been friendlier–“

Me: “THAT DOESN’T MATTER! My dog is on a leash! The law says I did my part to properly restrain my dog, and you didn’t do yours! Now, go put your dog inside and get me a copy of those records! I’ll be back in ten minutes for them!”

(When I come back without my dog, the woman has locked herself in her house and won’t open the door for me. Ultimately, she calls the police on me for trespassing. Here’s how that conversation goes.)

Officer #1: “Ma’am, please step away from the door.”

Me: *doing as instructed* “Is everything all right, sir?”

Officer #1: “We’ve received a call that you’re trespassing and harassing the owner of this house.”

Me: “Sir, I’m not trying to harass her. Her dog bit me, and I’ve just been asking her if I can get a copy of the shots records so I know whether or not I need any treatment.”

Officer #1: “I don’t see a dog out here.”

Me: “It was about half an hour ago. I was walking my dog, and hers ran up and attacked us. The dogs weren’t injured, but her dog nipped at my ankle and broke skin.”

(I hold out my ankle again, but I cleaned and bandaged the bite, so it’s not readily visible. The officer’s partner goes up and asks the woman to step outside. She does and points at me.)

Neighbor: “That’s her! She’s been ringing my doorbell for hours!”

Officer #2: “Ma’am, she says that your dogs had an altercation?”

Neighbor: “Yes! Her dog got so aggressive, barking and snapping at mine! He’s dangerous.”

Me: “My dog was on a leash; hers was loose!”

Officer #1: “We’ll take your statements separately, all right?”

([Officer #1] takes me down to the curb, while [Officer #2] stays with her on her porch. As I’m giving my statement, the neighbors from across the street, the ones whose house I was in front of when the dog followed us up, come over.)

Neighbor #2: “Is this about what happened with the dogs earlier?”

Officer #1: “Did you see what happened?”

Neighbor #2: “Yes, and so did my husband. We were sitting in the front room, and we saw the whole thing.”

(She pointed to the house, gesturing to her big, bay windows that would have given her and her husband a perfect view. The officer asked me to stand aside while he took their statements, as well, which corroborated mine. Then he asked me to take off the bandage so that they could take a picture of the dog bite, and asked if I want to press charges. I told them that if the neighbor would just give me the shots records and promise to keep her dog restrained I wouldn’t. He relayed the message, and the neighbor still refused to hand over the records, so instead, the officers charged her, took the dog, and got a subpoena for the dog’s shots records, which were several months out of date. The dog was quarantined and ultimately found to not be rabid, and since I was up to date on my tetanus shot, I didn’t need further treatment, but the neighbor was charged with several misdemeanors and had to give the dog up. I felt bad about that; it wasn’t the dog’s fault its owner was an idiot, and I made sure to go to the hearing and testify that I didn’t think that the dog was actually dangerous. The court decided not to put it down, but instead to put it up for adoption. The whole time, the owner was yelling that this wasn’t her fault, so much so that she was removed from the hearing. The worst part is, when she was testifying as to what happened, she told the story exactly how it happened, and still didn’t seem to understand that it was her fault that her dog was running loose and unrestrained, and that keeping him on a leash was her responsibility.)

It’s Going To Be A Long (Fort)Nite

, , , , , | Friendly | September 25, 2018

(I am a freshman in college. Let it be known, I am loving life on campus; my classes are intellectually stimulating, and there are plenty of coffee shops to fuel my growing addiction. The only issue I have — as is to be expected — is my neighbors in the dorms. We’ve been on campus for about a month and a half now, and every other day or so our neighbors end up staying up until two or three in the morning playing “Fortnite.” We’ve asked them to keep it down three or four times by now, but it seems to be a bit of a lost cause. Today, I had a conversation with them that went something like this:)

Me: *knocks on door*

Neighbor #1: “Oh, hey. What’s up?”

Me: “Would you guys be willing to turn your video games down? We’re trying to study, sleep, and not have to listen to you screaming at a video game at three am.”

Neighbor #2: “Oh, sure. We’ll try to keep it down. We just get so into it.”

Me: “I understand. I’m an avid online gamer, too. I play Star Wars online… which means I also understand that you should keep your game volume at a reasonable level, and not curse at a screen at three in the morning, as evidenced by the way you don’t hear ‘pew pew’ noises coming from our room. Thanks.”

(This was all said very calmly. I am a very polite person, so the fact that I said this at all goes to show how fed up I am. I’m hoping for results, but I’m not holding my breath.)

You Can’t Snow In Kind Gestures

, , , , , | Hopeless | September 15, 2018

(When I am in high school, my mom and I live in an apartment complex for probably two years. One year we have a decent snow storm; it isn’t bad, but it leaves about three feet of snow around the car. Our shovel has broken, and since winter is almost over and we have little money, we had decided to take our chances and not buy a shovel. So, at ten am after the storm, I wake up and go out with the balcony broom — a broom we keep outside to sweep leaves and such off our little balcony — and try to unbury the car. I work for a good hour, and get about half the front cleared away, when a plow comes in to get what is left over. I don’t know if he doesn’t notice the high schooler with a broom trying to move the snow, doesn’t care, or doesn’t have any room not to, but he literally plows an entire parking lot of snow in front of the car and partially onto the hood. I stand and stare at the pile, defeated, and watch the plow drive off. I sigh and start trying to move the snow again, this time pushing it and literally digging with my hands, when a guy a few cars down notices.)

Guy: “Did that plow just push all that snow in front of your car?”

Me: “Yeah… unfortunately for me.”

Guy: “And you’re sweeping it?”

Me: “I don’t have a shovel; this was the only thing I thought might work.”

Guy: “How long have you been out here?”

Me: “Probably an hour; I started around ten.”

(He watches me sweep a little, and then runs to his car. I don’t pay attention to what he is doing, but a moment later I notice a shovel moving some snow.)

Guy: “I only have one shovel, but I’ll do what I can real quick; I’m a little early for work.”

(It’s been probably six years since this happened, but I still remember it. If you ever read this, thank you. I really appreciated the help, and I don’t know if you ever knew how much the little act meant to me. I hope you weren’t late, since you stayed and helped dig out most the car. I know I probably looked ridiculous and pathetic sweeping snow, but at least we both got a good story.)

That Smaller Parcel Must Have Been His Brain

, , , , , | Friendly | July 26, 2018

(My neighbor is in his mid-forties and is a child of a trust fund, so he’s always had people available at his whim, has never worked, and is a total moron. During the day he has two nannies taking care of his kids while his wife works. I miss a package delivery while I am at work, so the delivery company leaves a ticket stating that the package is with my neighbor. I head over, ticket in hand, to collect it.)

Neighbor: *answering door* “Yeah?”

Me: “Hi, I wasn’t in to get a parcel; they left it at yours. Can I get it?” *shows ticket*

Neighbor: *immediately confused* “Uh, sorry, no. The nanny deals with stuff like that. Come back when she’s back.”

Me: “I kind of need it; did the post not deliver my parcel here?”

Neighbor: “Why did they deliver your parcel here?”

Me: “I wasn’t in.”

Neighbor: “Why not?”

Me: *too shocked by his stupidity* “Look. My parcel was dropped off here; can you please check?”

(He looks around his feet and picks up the nearest parcel, hands it to me without a word, and shuts the door. The parcel is way too small to be what I am expecting. I check the address slip and it has the neighbor’s address and his wife’s name on it. I ring the bell again several times until he eventually answers again.)

Neighbor: “What now?”

Me: “There’s been some confusion; this is your wife’s parcel.”

Neighbor: “Well, what do you want with it, then?”

Me: “I don’t want it. I want mine. Can you please look?”

Neighbor: *taking the parcel back and looking around his feet* “Nothing here. Look: can you please come back when the nanny is here? She deals with all the stuff like this.”

Me: “Well, can you check the front room or something for a box with this address on it?” *I hand him the ticket* “Please?!”

(He disappears for a few seconds and comes back with a very large box and an equally confused expression on his face.)

Neighbor: “Huh. There’s this, but… it’s got the wrong address on it.”

Me: “Yes, that’s what I’m after.”

Neighbor: “Why was it delivered here? I’m not [bad pronunciation of My Name].”

Me: “That’s me! It’s what I’m here for.”

Neighbor: “How did you know it was here?”

Me: “Because the delivery company left a ticket. Can I please have it now?”

Neighbor: *handing it over* “But why didn’t they just deliver it to you?”

(I took the parcel and just rolled my eyes at the last question. I didn’t think leaving post with neighbors was that difficult a concept.)

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