Dealing with neighborhood disputes, before they turn deadly - FOX 10 News |

Dealing with neighborhood disputes, before they turn deadly

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Neighbors who lived in the Southshore Falls Subdivision of Apollo Beach remember the erratic behavior of John Gallick. He used to yell profanities and threaten people who walked by his home.

One day back in October of last year, he went after a neighbor with a knife whose dog had knocked over a sign in his yard.

David Cockerham shot and killed the 52-year-old in self-defense, investigators said.

A few months ago, another Bay Area man apparently shot his neighbor. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says Donald Hindes shot his neighbor, Richard Wacker, in the Kapok Grand Subdivision in Seminole.

These type of occurrences are not typical, but there seems to be a growing number of neighborhood squabbles that turn violent.

"Everybody wants that respectful neighbor, but sometimes it gets to a boiling point where it just doesn't happen," says Sgt. David DiSano with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

DiSano says deputies are trained to handle anything, and nothing is too small.

"There could be barking dog complaints, they are playing their music too loud, something minor to you and me like the way somebody parks their car in their front yard," he said.

He says recent examples should serve as a warning that it's hard to predict a neighbor reaction.

"You see some stuff on TV and on the news and you don't know what's going to happen when you confront them personally," said DiSano.

But people still go on the offensive when a neighbor offends them, and the internet and YouTube are turning into a new type of neighborhood watch.

"You don't want your face plastered somewhere yelling being agitated; nobody does," said Kim Joyner-Diaz, the director of mediation and diversion for Hillsborough County. "I think YouTube is out there and Facebook and I think all social media is scary. It's not a way to resolve anything because the issue will never go away."

Joyner-Diaz says mediation works and it's free if people truly are willing to commit to finding a solution.

"Getting even and getting resolution are as far apart as night and day," she said.

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Neighbors' altercation ends with one shot, killed

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