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Start digging, kids! The solution to my community gate vandalism

Sunday, July 14, 2019

I had a fence/gate contractor I’ve used before meet us at the gate and he got there just before the two kids, mommy of truck kid and dad of other kid. Dad came roaring up in his pig up truck with his son, mom came storming up in her suv, and 18 yr old came with his pig up. They’d been to a party in our neighborhood, drank too much, and “it was just a joke!” Contractor was pulling at the gate posts, he and beloved had moved them out of the road completely. Dad started yelling, talking over me, so I crossed my arms and let him finish. Then I told him since his kid was 17 I could file criminal mischief against him and sue the parents for damages. Mom of other kid started blustering so I called the two boys over and congratulated the 18 y/o on his scholarship.. “You do realize you’re 18 and if you get arrested today because I press charges you’ll probably lose your scholarship?” He started yes ma’am real fast and mom got more upset, other kids dad started insisting “nobody needs to press charges” so I reminded him HIS kid destroyed private property and our community was NOT going to pay for it. Beloved asked the contractor if “something could be worked out by the kids” and the contractor said he first needed a $275 emergency visit charge. Dad whipped out his check book and paid on the spot. After about an hour of us all negotiating the contractor agreed to have the two boys dig out the poles, remove all the cement, and enlarge the holes. Both parents agreed to split the cost of the damages. He took a credit card from mom, another check from dad. I agreed to hold off on charges for now until work has been completed on Tuesday. I refused to sign “no charges” for the police. It was beloved’s idea to make the kids work since it should be on them instead of their parents, and it should be 90 on Tuesday! Both kids apologized. After the kids and the adults left I asked the contractor to upgrade our gate so it couldn’t be pulled out again so he’s going to use 10’ steel posts, 4 inch in diameter, sunk in 5 ‘ of cement and the HOA will pay the upgrade difference of $625.
So much better than it could have been, I hate confrontation!
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