Neighborhood Dispute Has Children Scared
Updated: Wednesday, April 24 2013, 07:07 AM EDT
It's impossible to determine what's happening on Mill Spring's Hickory Nut Drive.
"I've got someone harassing my family with a firearm," said Jeff Patterson, who says his teenage neighbor Elijah Pack won't leave his family alone.
Patterson is a truck driver and he says that he worries about his children's safety while he's on the road.
"I've got three kids and a girlfriend that's here alone, that can't defend themselves against this," Patterson said standing outside of his home Monday.
Elijah Pack and his mother Lila say he doesn't bother the neighbors.
Both families say they've called 911 dozens of times to report the other family over the last two years.
In interviews with members of both families, several neighbors, and a Polk County deputy over two days, the conflict between the families appeared convoluted, with a history that stretched more than two years.
Two neighbors said over the phone that the Pattersons are victims - a third saying Elijah's a good boy.
The one thing that appears clear is that young children are being caught in the middle.
"The only time I go to the front yard is to go to the bus stop, to get in the car or to play with my dog Rock," said Thomas Jones, Patterson's son with his long-time girlfriend.
"He cranked the chain saw and started waving it at me, taunting me," said Patterson's daughter Haylee, 12.
"We was backing up to go through the driveway," recounted Patterson's daughter Rose. "Elijah was just standing there at the end of his car pointing the gun at the window and I was scared that he was going to shoot the window."
Rose is nine years old.
"I had shivers going down my back and I never got pointed at before."
When asked about a window, her dad believes Elijah broke, Rose answered: "That busted and [Elijah] did it, well I'm not saying he actually did it, we don't know."
A Polk County deputy said officers have been called out to the two homes time after time, but he said each time, the evidence authorities would need to bring charges isn't there.
The Pattersons have not photos or video of the alleged incidents.
Deputies say they have placed a surveillance camera on the property to monitor for any suspicious activity.
By Ashlea Surles
Follow Ashlea on Twitter @AshleaSurles