PLAYING Neighbors At War: One Claims Racism While Other Says Life Is ‘A Living Hell’
A quiet St. Louis subdivision has become a battleground over barking dogs, explosives placed in a backyard, an alleged assault and a sexual misconduct charge. The fighting has gotten so bad, it even made the local evening news.
Now, Jana and Allen square off against their neighbors Maritha, Melanie and Christopher on Tuesday’s Dr. Phil, in an attempt to find a resolution.
“Our neighbors make our life a living hell,” Allen says.
“Maritha has tweeted about us, to basically commit suicide before she does it for us,” Jana says. “Maritha told me, ‘I have a gun in my trunk. I haven’t had to use it yet but I’m not afraid to.’”
Among the encounters fueling the feud between the neighbors is a July 5 incident, in which Jana and Allen claim that Maritha’s 21-year-old son, Christopher, along with his two brothers, planted and detonated an explosive device beneath their children’s backyard swing set.
“They set a mortar shell of some sort under the swing set and tried to blow it up,” Jana contends, dismissing the notion that it may have been kids playing with Fourth of July fireworks. “Under these circumstances, if this wasn’t the case, I would totally blow it off as a firework. But since these people have been harassing us…”
While the incident was captured on surveillance camera, Jana and Allen have not been able to conclusively identify the three individuals running away from the scene, even though they insist it was Christopher and his brothers.
Christopher denies being involved in the incident, and says when it comes to his family’s problems with Jana, he believes race plays a role.
“I believe Jana is a racist. She also relies upon negative stereotypes of African-American people as being violent and criminal by nature,” Christopher says in the video above.
In fact, Christopher says he fears things could get so bad, he says he is afraid it could escalate into violence.
“My worst fear is that the situation will spiral further out of control and we will have another replay of the Mike Brown incident or the Trayvon Martin incident, where one of my younger brothers, myself or my mother will end up laying out there in the middle of that cul-de-sac dead,” he says.
Meanwhile, Jana and Allen claim Maritha and her family have been the instigators since moving in six months ago – so much so, they no longer feel safe in their own home.
“Maritha can be violent and hostile. She had a confrontation with my next door neighbor. Maritha ended up punching her in the face,” Allen claims.
“It’s very dangerous to the point where we’ve put our house up for sale,” Jana says. “It’s time to get out.”
“Jana has told the entire neighborhood, the entire subdivision that she knows I assaulted my neighbor, but in the police report, there are no witnesses,” Maritha responds.
Will either side be willing to compromise in an effort to find a truce?