KENDALL, Fla. – The alleged reign of terror by a man described as the "neighbor from hell" is over, for now. Mitchell Igelko was arrested and booked in the Miami-Dade County Jail on two counts of criminal mischief and two counts of stalking.
According to his neighbors, Igelko, who owns a lawn maintenance company, has been bullying and tormenting them for nearly four years.
"He tries to intimidate you to either respect him and if you don't respect him," said Dr. Bob DerHagopian, "he'll do damage to you."
The doctor and his wife, Kelly, live next door to Igelko.
"You'd like to have a trench or a wall between you and he," Dr. DerHagopian told Local 10 Crime Specialist John Turchin.
The DerHagopians said it all started about four years ago when they used another landscaper to do some work on their property.
"It seems these incidents are of a retaliatory nature," remarked Kelly DerHagopian.
The incidents, they said, included poisoning a tree and some plants. When they compared notes with others in the cul-de-sac, they realized they weren't alone. Others shared similar stories. So, the neighbors got together and decided the best way to document what was allegedly going on was to catch him 'in the act.' Many of them bought and installed sophisticated surveillance cameras.
"I don't think any neighborhood should have to live with this type of fear and anxiety," said Dr. DerHagopian.
They captured him several times, most recently spraying what is believed to be a toxic chemical on their lawns. The damage is extensive.
"He is in his work truck, driving with the window cracked two to three inches," recalled Francisco Torres. "I see a red nozzle. I see a lot of jet stream of toxic liquid getting into my grass. I double check with my camera and I got the proof right there."
This came after he was seen on video walking up ad tossing bags of nails onto lawns, and launching them from his truck onto the grass and driveways.
Additionally, neighbors suspect he had something to do with several other incidents, including the night two men smashed the window of a Lexus, and another night when two men doused several cars with a flammable liquid, then were seen running to a neighbors house. Moments later, there was an explosion. A boat in that driveway was set on fire and blew up. The flames could be seen for blocks.
"His house was the only one untouched," remembered Kelly DerHagopian. "It makes us curious."