Man wants restraining order against 'neighbor from Hell'

Neighbors accuses Mitchell Igelko of poisoning lawns, throwing nails on properties, egging homes

MIAMI - People living near him dub him the "neighbor from Hell," and one of his neighbors asked for a restraining order against him.

Francisco Torres was in court Tuesday asking for a restraining order to force Mitchell Igelko, his neighbor, to keep his distance. It was the closest the two men have been to one another in years.

"I am trying to protect myself, but I have no protection at all. He can do whatever he wants. He doesn't have any respect for the law," said Francisco Torres. "I am very fearful of him."

Others neighbors are also concerned with Igelko's behavior, and set up surveillance cameras to catch him in the act.

"All of his acts are of a retaliatory nature," next-door neighbor Kelly DerHargopian told Local 10 Crime Specialist John Turchin.

Neighbors said those acts included repeatedly tossing nails on their properties, spraying poisonous chemicals on their lawns, egging their homes, and even hiring others to smash car windows, douse vehicles with gasoline, and blow up boats.

Dr. Robert DerHargopian, one of Igelko's neighbors, said he put flyers in their mailboxes.

"That's my son. I asked my son not to associate with him. In retaliation for that, he made up this poster," said Robert DerHargopian.

Torres said a video showed Igelko threatening him.

"Come. Come. I will put a bullet in your head," Igelko said in Spanish. "You are all scared. See the way you neighbors live with surveillance systems, fences and everything else... Spend another $50,000, as you already did. I have you crazy spending money."

Last month, Igelko was charged with criminal mischief and stalking.

In court on Tuesday, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mark King Leban addressed both men.

"Words and names can be very, very hurtful, and not only hurtful, they can be criminal. Just suggesting that any rhetoric needs to be stopped," said Leban.

The judge delayed deciding on the restraining order, allowing Igelko and his attorneys to deal with the criminal charges he is facing. Another hearing is scheduled for later in November.

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