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Deputies Respond To Volatile Neighbor Dispute; Missing Toddler Along I-80 Corridor

Summit County Sheriff's Office

Among the recent incidents reported by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office—a dispute between neighbors over their dogs led to a resident making charges of racism and police discrimination.

In another case, deputies tracked down a toddler who decided to leave her home for an adventure in the middle of the night.  

Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Wright said deputies got a report of a dispute between neighbors in the Blackhawk Station area off Bitner Road, which began several weeks back.

A 47-year-old man said that on August 17th, he was walking his dog on a leash, when his pet was attacked by a neighbor woman’s dog, roaming off leash.    He said when he wasn’t able to contact her, he got in touch with Animal Control, and a couple of days later, she was cited.

The complainant, a white male, said subsequently that the neighbor, a 51-year-old Latina, has been parking her vehicle in front of his house, telling several neighbors that he is racist, and was leaving handwritten notes.

Among the messages, one note said the man’s family has been harassing her since April.   Another said, “My dog was off leash, and so are others.   But they only called police on minorities and single ladies.”

Lt. Wright said that on September 10th, a deputy found her on the neighbor’s property and instructed her to leave.       

“That’s when she walked out, just off of the complainant’s property to the public street, lifted her arms in the air, looked up in the sky, and said, “Shoot me, kill me, please, and stop harassing me.”

Lt. Wright said that deputies in the department train regularly on de-escalating situations.    

“Sometimes, the best thing you can do as a law enforcement officer, when you’re trying to de-escalate, is allow people to vent, as long as they’re not being violent about it, destroying property or hurting themselves or someone else.  Sounds like in this case, the female obviously was very upset with the ongoing dispute that’s been going on.  Nothing else happened beyond that.  The female stated what she wanted to state.  The deputy simply stated what she could and couldn’t do that would keep her out of trouble, as far as not violating the law.”

The Lieutenant said that ended the situation for the 10th, but they’ve had complaints since from both neighbors.   He said the County Attorney’s Office is looking into the dispute.    

In another incident, in early September, parents in Pinebrook reported that their 9-year-old daughter was missing.     The mother reported that she had last seen her at about 11:30 p.m., and realized around midnight that she was gone.

The parents looked for the child around the local area before they called Sheriff’s Dispatch shortly before 2 a.m.

According to Lt. Wright, the parents said the girl loves the outdoors, and has said she wants to be a nature survivalist.

Several agencies were notified.    Shortly after 2 a.m., a caller said she saw a child in pajamas near a bar and grill in the Newpark area of Kimball Junction.    The caller said the situation was frightening.  The child ran off when the caller tried to approach.

Shortly afterward, another caller said he had seen a child with the same description walking along I-80 west of Kimball Junction.     Deputies found the child near the truck pull-off by the Ecker Hill park n ride lot.

The girl, who said she had gone out for an adventure, was re-united with her parents by 3 a.m.

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