Friday, April 27, 2007

Sirens in the night

Wow. Who knew that my tiny little town could be a hotbed of criminal activity??

To begin this story, I better go back a bit. We have some interesting next door neighbors. And by "interesting", I mean "psycho". Well, one of them is anyway. They are two twin brothers - Jon and Dan. Both probably 25. They've lived in their house for 6 years. Their parents died and that is what was left for them. They've had roomates come and go and we talk with them whenever we see them and have had them over a few times.

But in the past year, things have gotten bad.

It all started when they decided to have a HUGE bonfire in their backyard. It was in the summer when everything was dead and dry and if a tree caught on fire, we'd all be toast. (We have a mini-forest in our backyard) So after asking them to tone down the fire and them drunkingly not repsonding, we called the fire department. After the fire dept. came and asked them to put it out, they came out to the street, flipped off the world, and screamed, "SCREW YOU, NEIGHBORS!" not knowing which neighbor made the call.

Then, came the night drag races. They love dirt biking. I usually don't mind it. Unless it is on a quiet Saturday or Sunday or in the middle of the night. Which has happened. They have made a mini-course in their backyard which came into our backyard which made our landlord pretty angry. Sometimes they'll just ride up and down our street and the noise is deafening. These things are not a big deal, we're all pretty nice and flexible with each other. But then things got worse.

About 8 months ago or so, we would wake up at 2 or 4 or any other ungodly hour of the morning to the sound of screaming. Terrifying, loud, piercing screaming. And then that was usually followed with swear words, threats, and more screaming. When you wake up in the dead of night to that, it is so scary! And there's the fact that our driveway echoes like crazy and it sounds like that is all happening right by our window. Ack!

Basically, one of our neighbors, Dan, has not been doing well. According to his brother Jon, he has scared away all of their roomates (they've probably had 5 roomates come and go in the last year). He gets drunk, violent, angry, you name it. He has punched people and ripped out the fence between their house and the other neighbor's house when they got in a fight. Anyway, it was happening a lot. We totally called the cops a couple times because all the screaming made us worried that someone was hurt. Even when we weren't calling the cops, cops just always seemed to be over there. Finally two weeks ago, we saw the house was up for sale. Whew. Enough of this drama. In talking to Jon two days ago, he said he and his brother were kind of going through a "divorce", it wasn't going well, and Dan needed help. Jon didn't know what to do.

That brings us to Wednesday night. I always get home late on Wednesdays because of college group. I was getting ready for bed around midnight and all of a sudden I heard the screaming again. "Not again," I thought. But then it got worse. I heard a guy yelling, "HELP ME! SOMEBODY HELP ME!" I freaked and ran to my window. Outside I saw a white truck take off down the street. Someone else got on a bike and took off. What the heck is going on?!?!

Then, I heard sirens in the night. At least 5 or 6 cop cars came to the house and there were officers everywhere. They came into our driveway and started searching around their house and in our backyards with flashlights. I realized they were probably looking for the brothers because something happened. So I decided to go out and tell them I saw them both leave. I threw on a sweatshirt and shoes and ran out the door, where I bumped into a roomie who was also going outside to see what was happening. I saw a policeman so I started to say, "Excuse me, sir..."


We fled. A couple other roomates were up now and we all were looking out the window. A couple minutes later an officer came up to our window and told us to stay in our house. Something had happened and they thought Dan was armed with a rifle. We of course got all scared. He really has gone psycho.

The 8 or 9 officers plus dogs surrounded the house and yelled for them to come out with their hands up or they were going to let the dog in, who would bite them if he found them, etc. I felt like I was watching an episode of Law & Order/CSI in my front yard. They searched the house and found no one. I did hear them say they found some marijuana growing. Lovely.

I stayed up till 2:30 am listening and watching, too scared to go to sleep. We were all so tired on Thursday. I called the police department after work to get an update. The guy I talked to gave me the scoop: Dan and Jon got in a fight, Dan STABBED his brother in the stomach (what the crap?! Who DOES that?!) and then took off. They had not found him yet. They were afraid he had taken his rifle with him. There was a warrant out for his arrest. And Jon was still in the hospital. If we were ever to see Dan sneaking back into his house, we were to immediately call 9-1-1.

The officers came back last night at midnight and did the whole house-search with the dogs and everything. Dan hasn't been back. This is probably the most action this city has seen in 5 years. And all of this happening right next door to us.

Needless to say, we lock our doors at night now.

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