By josh stipanovich
A Poland man was arrested after police said they witnessed him dumping garbage on his 81-year-old neighbor’s property.
Sean Fitzpatrick, 39, of Knollwood Avenue is charged with depositing litter on public property. He was arraigned in Struthers Municipal Court on May 22 and pleaded not guilty.
Records show that the court issued a warrant for his arrest May 17. Fitzpatrick was cited five times, and bond was set at $500. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Sept. 13.
Fitzpatrick littered on his neighbor’s property five times from April 3 to May 14, according to reports.
Police Chief Brian Goodin wouldn’t comment on details of the case because the court hearing is pending, but police believe Fitzpatrick was deliberately littering on the property.
“This issue with this woman down the street, she’s had stuff on a regular basis over the last couple of years,” Goodin said. “We could never prove who it was ... it was just starting to happen on a regular basis so we had one of our officers sit there, and through his investigation was able to determine that, at least, on five occasions, this person threw stuff in her yard.”
Each littering charge is a misdemeanor of the third degree, and Goodin said the maximum penalty is fines.
“I would doubt there would be any jail time,” Goodin said.
This isn’t the first time Fitzpatrick and his older neighbor have butted heads. In April 2007, according to reports, Fitzpatrick allegedly spat into his neighbor’s driver’s side window while she was passing his home. The neighbor, Marge Vitkay, told police in 2007 that she, her sister Mary Vitkay and Fitzpatrick have had ongoing issues for the past 15 years.
Fitzpatrick, however, told police that Mary approached him while he was cleaning his front yard. After asking her to leave his property, Marge drove her car to the curb where Fitzpatrick was working, rolled her window down and said a rude comment about his mother. That’s when he spat in the direction of the neighbor, according to reports.
Fitzpatrick was charged with assault, and the sisters were charged with criminal trespass.
A week later Struthers Municipal Court issued three summonses for Fitzpatrick and the Vitkays related to the April 2007 incident, according to reports. They were arrested and appeared for trial in Struthers Municipal Court in May 2007. The case was dismissed, and they were ordered to have no contact with one another.