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Snow removal leads to violent Spokane County neighbor dispute

| Feb 28, 2019 | Neighbor Disputes |

The necessity of clearing snow from driveways and sidewalks can pose problems for Washington homeowners. Once removed, the snow has to go somewhere, but neighbors must be careful not to allow the excess to wind up on adjoining properties. It can be a contentious process, one that is best resolved through diplomatic means. However, such a dispute recently erupted into a violent confrontation between two men, one of whom went to jail briefly on assault charges. 

Authorities allege that one of the homeowners, a 48-year-old man, threw the other, a 66-year-old man, onto the ground during the confrontation. He reportedly fractured the other man’s ribs by using his knees to drop his weight onto him. The other man claims two broken ribs and a broken facial bone as a result of the incident, as well as traumatization. 

The situation allegedly escalated because of the use of the 48-year-old’s snow blower, which reportedly blew the snow over the fence of the backyard and onto the roof of the 66-year-old’s shed. The 48-year-old allegedly responded with an expletive when the 66-year-old alerted him to the issue.

Matters came to a head on a recent Friday evening. The 66-year-old reportedly attempted to prevent his neighbor from piling snow onto his shed with the snow blower by placing his shovel in its path. According to authorities, the snow blower tipped over when the 48-year-old ran over the shovel with it, and that is what prompted the alleged attack. 

When it comes to resolving disputes among neighbors, there is always an alternative to violence. Those experiencing disagreements with nearby homeowners may wish to explore options with an attorney.