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Neighborhood danger

answered 08:32 AM EST, Fri October 14, 2011
My neighbor likes to sit around, in his boxers mostly and drink beer and liquor from about 10 in the morning until he gets loud in the evening and then passes out by night time. It’s a schedule you can pretty much set your watch to and since he’s on disability (who knows what for because he seems fine to me) he’s got all day every day to do this.

I have 2 young kids who like to ride their bikes and skateboards around the neighborhood. The problem is this guy thinks nothing of hopping in his truck no matter how drunk he is and it makes me terrified for the safety of my children and for everyone else in the neighborhood. I have told them to be on the lookout for him and to get off their bikes and head to the curb if they see him coming, but who knows if this will be enough.

I have tried asking him directly to be more careful with his drinking and driving but my efforts were not well received and we do not have a very civilized relationship at this point. I have called the police him but they say that unless they catch him while driving drunk, there is little they can do in advance. They have asked me to call when he goes out while drunk, and I have, but so far that has not resulted in anything happening. Do we all have to wait here until he kills some kid before we can do something? Is there anyone I can call to get this guy taken off the streets?

Loren Gelberg-Goff Says...

I am so sorry for what you have to deal with to keep your children safe... A couple questions to consider:

  1. Does he live alone?
  2. Is he a senior citizen (over 55y/o)? 

If your answer to these 2 questions is yes, then you can make a call to your county (I don't know where you live) Adult Protective Services agency.  They can send out a team to evaluate him as to his being a "potential" (my quotes, since he already sounds like he's gone beyond potential) risk to himself or someone else.  They can then provide services, or mandate services that could be beneficial all around.  Even if he is not a senior, you might consider contacting this community agency for other recommendations and services that might be available in your community.

If this man does not live alone, and you do not have a relationship with whomever he lives with, then you can still make the call anonymously, and indicate your concern for the health and well-being of the man himself and whoever else is in the home.  Since you are describing very destructive behaviors, your neighbor probably needs a mental health evaluation at the very least. 

You might also contact your county Bar Association. You can get the name of an attorney who specializes in community issues and speak with him/her about what your rights are as a member of this community and what legally can be done.

I hope that this helps.

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Page last updated Oct 17, 2011

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