(Florida) Neighbors' deadly feud sparked by 9-year-old

This is a discussion on (Florida) Neighbors' deadly feud sparked by 9-year-old within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; This happened about 30 miles from us. Just wanted to discuss it here. Neighbors' deadly feud sparked by 9-year-old SHADY HILLS - It started with ...

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Thread: (Florida) Neighbors' deadly feud sparked by 9-year-old

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    Member Array GLOCK23FAN's Avatar
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    (Florida) Neighbors' deadly feud sparked by 9-year-old

    This happened about 30 miles from us. Just wanted to discuss it here.

    Neighbors' deadly feud sparked by 9-year-old


    SHADY HILLS - It started with a young boy playing too close to the next-door neighbor's property.

    It ended with the neighbor shooting and killing the boy's dad while he and his mother watched, authorities say.

    The neighbor, 81-year-old John Croft, was arrested Saturday on a manslaughter charge, accused of shooting Seth Sigmon, 29, once in the chest and twice in the back after Sigmon had fallen to his knees.

    The confrontation at the property line started with Sigmon's 9-year-old son, Anthony, playing near the Crofts' trash bin and fence, investigators said.

    The Crofts and the Sigmons have lived side-by-side for years on Connie Court, a paved, one-block cul de sac of four or five houses in rural northwest Pasco County, just south of the Hernando County line.

    There was bad blood between the neighbors. After he was arrested, Croft told investigators he was angry about "ongoing neighbor issues" with Sigmon and his family, according to sheriff's office spokesman Kevin Doll.

    Those tensions came to a head Saturday. Here's what investigators say happened:

    After Croft's wife complained to him about where Anthony was playing, Croft went out to talk with him and sent the boy running home, crying.

    Sigmon came out to see what the problem was. The bigger man, who weighed more than 250 pounds, nudged and cursed at the 145-pound Croft when they met near Croft's trash bin.

    Croft was holding a .22-caliber revolver. Sigmon asked him if he planned to use it.

    After shooting Sigmon, Croft walked back home while paramedics rushed to save Sigmon. There was no physical confrontation between the men, but Croft told investigators he felt threatened, Doll said.

    Sigmon died in his own yard shortly after 1 p.m.

    Days later, Sigmon's friends and family still can't believe what happened.

    "I feel sorry for this guy and his family, but this guy had irrational fear," said Scott Randall, Anthony's grandfather. "You don't send a 9-year-old crying into the house, then shoot their parent when they come to talk to you about it."

    Sigmon, a West Virginia native who moved to the area about 10 years ago, was not Anthony's biological father, but the boy called him "dad," Randall said. Sigmon and Randall's daughter, Stacy, lived together for about eight years.

    "It wasn't long ago that I told him how much respect I have over the way he was [raising Anthony]," Randall said.

    Mike Carnicom, who worked with Sigmon at Rimkus Consulting Group, an engineering firm where the friends fixed and monitored sinkholes, was there on Saturday, too, but didn't want to talk about what happened.

    "I don't know anybody who didn't get along with Seth," Carnicom said. "He was the type of guy who'd give you the shirt off his back. He had a great sense of humor. You could joke with him [about anything], and he wouldn't get mad."

    Croft made his first court appearance and was released Sunday after posting $50,000 bail. The case will now move to the State Attorney's Office, where prosecutors will determine whether to formally charge Croft with manslaughter or a more serious charge.

    Prosecutors usually file formal charges within 30 to 40 days of a person's arrest. Once a charge is filed, the case is set for arraignment and begins winding its way through the court system.

    Neighbor Dan Sawin described Croft as a kind, quiet man who took care of his wife, who recently broke a hip after recovering from a broken collarbone.

    "He was in the military," Sawin said. "You can't find one person in [this area] who will say anything bad about him. He's just a super nice guy who keeps his gates locked."

    In addition to the padlocked gate that leads to Croft's driveway, there's a chain link fence around his property, topped by barbed wire, with a posted sign that reads, "NO TRESPASSING. VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED."

    Neither Croft nor Sigmon has a significant criminal background. Croft was arrested for disorderly conduct in 1984, and Sigmon was arrested for driving under the influence in 2001.

    Croft called deputies to his house three times in 2005 and 2006, complaining that neighborhood dogs had attacked his goats. In November 2005, Croft told investigators he had fired a gun to keep dogs away from his animals, according to sheriff's office records.

    The reports don't mention Sigmon.

    Whatever problems existed between Sigmon and Croft, Sigmon family friend Teresa Joiner said they don't justify what happened.

    "[That's] no reason to shoot a man in cold blood," she said.
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    My own outside looking in view as a dad and neighbor...

    Over the past 15 yrs. I've bought six and sold five residential homes, all in so called 'nice' neighborhoods.
    At every house I have had always one what I refer to as 'crazy neighbor'.

    It never fails. The guy who is extremely anal about his lawn to the point that he gets bent if you happen to overrun a little of his grass as you mow your own abutting land he gets red faced angry. The cat lady who gets angered if when backing your car into your own driveway you happen to get within 10' of her free ranging 'housecat'. The neighbor who won't shovel his side of the sidewalk and shared parking area in a timely manner after a snow. And the jerk neighbor who does not know how to communicate with people muchless children in a way that is not reminiscent of the three billy goats gruff story as he being the troll character that lives under a bridge.

    These people are toxic people.
    For what ever reason mommy didn't give them enough milk or daddy never said 'I love you', they just flat out have issues with life, living, and the world at large. My own father is one of these people and he has always taken pride in being as he states in so many words; "anti-social". Nobody likes him and he has never had a friend that I know of...aside from my mother who I have no idea why sees something in him.
    I as a rule walk wide of these people and such neighbors. It's easier to live with them by avoidance and giving them space than to go head to head with them. As well I will actively kill'em with kindness if forced to conversate.

    I tell my wife and my kids to avoid such neighbor people.
    Do not play near and definitely not on their lawn. Stay away from their property. Don't touch their stuff. It's easy. And if toys or a ball goes to their side then let me know as I'll go over and talk to Mr. Grumpy or Mrs. Salty toward retrieving it.
    Another item is I will not engage in yelling and screaming matches. I don't have time or interest. I'll walk off and leave them red faced angry.

    Last item, it is never ever never a good idea to walk up on a person holding a firearm...who is clearly angry and is angry with you (!). Duh. This would be common sense, if there was such a thing. Let it go, the slight, or call the cops and have them settle things.
    The dad challenging the neighbor to use the firearm as seen clearly in his hands was completely stupid. never mind putting his hands to him as well. Do not do this.

    The final results were and are completely predictable for this entire scenario, including even the grumpy neighbor arming himself acting as an aggressor.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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    Member Array rcsnpr's Avatar
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    Hits Very close to me, my work and my crew.
    Shot with a .22 three times and died at the scene.
    And all over a minor dispute. It's so sad.

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    Sad to have this happen. It did not have to go this way.

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    Senior Member Array gilraen's Avatar
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    That is just sad and sick. I think the dad made mistakes, but he shouldn't have paid for it with his life.

    Janq, I know what you mean about those people. My brother is one of them, and almost no one but my sister-in-law can stand to be around him. They only way you can deal with them is to NOT deal with them.

    I feel sorry for the mother and son. I wonder what guilt the son is feeling? (But then that's a liberal thought. Shame on me.)
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    VIP Member Array JoJoGunn's Avatar
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    Good post, Janq, really good.

    The bad is that the anti-social behavior and anal attitude towards property is almost always too tempting for a kid to get on or near the property just to make the ol' guy mad. I can't say for sure if the kid in this incident was doing things on purpose, but if the kid had been warned to stay clear and the parents did nothing, then it was a tradgedy going somewhere to happen. It's just a bad situation for everyone involved.
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    Ex Member Array GreenHorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcsnpr View Post
    Hits Very close to me, my work and my crew.
    Shot with a .22 three times and died at the scene.
    And all over a minor dispute. It's so sad.
    Wait... did your whole crew die?

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    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    From the sound of it the boy was on his own property. The father of the boy should not have asked the grumpy neighbor if he was going to use the gun. The neighbor should have never taken the gun out of the house.Now both neighbors have a tragedy. The father is dead and there will be no one to support the family. and the grump will be in jail leaving his sick wife to fend for herself. I hope I never get to be an old grump who settles disputes with a gun.

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    Distinguished Member Array lacrosse50's Avatar
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    Both sides made errors, and both are at fault. Both instigated the end result.

    The two points I'm interested to have clarified:
    1. Did "old grumpy" have the pistol in hand (or CCW?) when talking to the boy, or did he retrieve it before/during the confrontation with the dad?
    2. How much "nudging and cursing" went on? Would I fear for my life in that situation?

    As I said, both are at fault.
    Last edited by lacrosse50; April 29th, 2009 at 04:21 PM. Reason: clarification
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    Member Array dudester's Avatar
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    Very sad. Sometimes it's better to walk away. Knowing which times is the tricky part so it's prolly best to just walk away regardless.

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    Old Grumpy will spend the rest of his days in jail. Now he'll have to worry about his cellmate crossing the line. He probably won't even be able to pick which bunk he wants.
    Hope it was worth it.
    Why would anyone approach an already 'known' kook who is on the edge of his property with a gun? 911 would have been the much easier option in this case.
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    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    Excellent Jang. It's grass, I don't GAS.
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    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Old Grumpy will spend the rest of his days in jail. Now he'll have to worry about his cellmate crossing the line. He probably won't even be able to pick which bunk he wants.
    Hope it was worth it.
    Why would anyone approach an already 'known' kook who is on the edge of his property with a gun? 911 would have been the much easier option in this case.

    I wouldn't count on it.
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    Ex Member Array PNUT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dudester View Post
    Very sad. Sometimes it's better to walk away. Knowing which times is the tricky part so it's prolly best to just walk away regardless.
    Good post, walk away whenever possible. There's no shame in being the bigger man and walking away. Both of these guys should have done that. I prefer that to hurting someone if I don't have to.


    However, once committed, do what you must.

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    Distinguished Member Array Guardian's Avatar
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    Definitely an article for all to take heed to. A very stupid move to walk up and ask are you going to use that gun, that was just ignorant, I guess he figured his size would deter the older smaller man from using it, I guess he figured wrong. A shame all the way around.
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