MONTE VISTA - “All flesh is equal when burnt,” was the spray painted message one Monte Vista resident woke up to in the night last week. The message and sign was on their neighbor’s property and facing their house. According to this resident they have had past issues with the same neighbor.
Months ago they shared that they had noticed a video camera at their neighbor’s house facing toward their bedroom. They went outside for a closer look and confirmed that it was a camera pointed at their bedroom. The next day they noticed it had been moved. A couple of days later, while sitting in their yard, they said they found multiple cameras facing their direction from their neighbor’s house. “We ended up calling the police, and the police said there’s really nothing that they can do,” the resident said.
About a month later they said they had another incident with their neighbor. They said their neighbor came into their yard while they were trying to water their lawn. According to the resident, the neighbor pulled their water hose and broke their sprinkler. A dispute followed and the neighbor called the police.
When the police showed up they were able to watch what happened on one of the video cameras their neighbor had on their house. The neighbor was charged with trespassing May 9. Afraid their neighbor might retaliate they put up security cameras at their house.
This last week the resident shared that they were going to bed and could smell what they thought was a skunk. They got up to close their window when they smelt spray paint. They said they opened their window and saw the sign saying, “All flesh is equal when burnt,” facing their house. At 5 a.m. the resident said they noticed a different sign was posted. The second sign read, “Psychopathics and hate don’t mix well try it.” They said they called the police about the signs.
When asked if they feel safe in their neighborhood with all this going on they answered, “No. Not with him (neighbor).” They shared how months ago, when they had noticed the video cameras, they came to their house on their lunch break and left in tears because they did not feel safe. “I left crying when I returned to work because I did not feel safe. And now even more so because how do we know he is not going to throw something and burn our house? We feel threatened,” said the resident.
According to local law enforcement they are still investigating the incident and have been in consultation with the District Attorney. The District Attorney is planning to try mediation between the resident and neighbor. During their investigation they have discovered that the sign reading, “All flesh is equal when burnt,” are lyrics from a song called “Hail the Apocalypse,” by Avatar.
“We’ll continue to investigate it and make a determination whether it’s a crime or not. But we have to balance whether it’s a crime versus First Amendment right to freedom of speech,” said Monte Vista Police Chief George Dingfelder adding, “We’ll continue investigating and look for options to hopefully resolve this so that it doesn’t continue. But at this point we’re not going to jump to conclusions. We’re just going to do a good thorough investigation and with the District Attorney on board. Make sure that we do this right. You only get one shot to do this right.”
Chief Dingfelder also make it clear that they take situations like this seriously saying, “Anytime anybody feels threaten or concerned they should contact us. We want them to contact us because that’s our job to make sure that we investigate whether it’s a crime or not. We still have a duty to investigate. We want to make sure that people aren’t feeling threaten or intimidated. And we will take every allegation seriously. But we’re also going to investigate it thoroughly and make sure that it meets the elements before we charge anybody. So we’re going to slow down and take our time to make sure we do it right.”
Editor’s note: The residents who feel threatened wanted to remain anonymous, did not want to reveal their address and are Hispanic.