[Chat] No good deed goes unpunished

regina ARMENTA yogaonwheels at yahoo.com
Sat Jun 20 08:35:52 EDT 2009

Wow!  I can't imagine that this could happen to someone for calling the police.  I would suggest contacting the news papers and the CV association. 
Regina Armenta

--- On Fri, 6/19/09, Kevin Zeese <kzeese at earthlink.net> wrote:

> From: Kevin Zeese <kzeese at earthlink.net>
> Subject: [Chat] No good deed goes unpunished
> To: "'Charles Village Discussion List'" <discussion at charlesvillage.info>, "Charles Village Chat" <chat at charlesvillage.info>
> Date: Friday, June 19, 2009, 3:23 PM
> Your
> suggestions are welcome on 
> the situation below.
> Last
> September we saw someone 
> walk across the alley behind Calvert to the St. Paul side
> and pour gasoline over 
> the door of a garage.  We could smell the gasoline
> from our house, about 
> five doors down, and then a person with us went up to it
> and confirmed that it 
> was in fact gasoline.
> We thought this was bizarre and did 
> not know what to do. 
> We did not know the 
> persons intent but were concerned that if there was a fire
> it could affect the 
> whole block of row houses.  If a neighbor had seen
> someone do this to our 
> house or the house next door we'd want them to call the
> police, so we 
> did.
> The
> police sent out the arson
> squad.  We never accused 
> anyone of arson but did report the pouring of
> gasoline.
> Recently we found out that the 
> individual was arrested and held over in jail for three
> days, paying a $1,000 
> bond to get out.  The police wanted to charge him with
> attempted arson but 
> the prosecutors felt they could not prove it.  The
> police/prosecutor never 
> called us to discuss whether there was anything more than
> gasoline being 
> poured.   
> We
> received a letter from a 
> lawyer, Howard Schulman, threatening to sue us for
> defamation because we 
> accused his client of attempted arson.  In the letter
> the lawyer 
> acknowledged that his client did indeed pour gasoline in
> the alley.  He 
> claimed it was to kill rats.  Pouring gasoline and
> other chemicals in the 
> ally is itself illegal.
> We
> wrote back saying that the 
> lawyer had the facts wrong and we did not accuse anyone of
> attempted arson, 
> merely that he poured gasoline on a neighbors garage --
> something the lawyer 
> admitted.
> The
> lawyer wrote back with a 
> draft complaint continuing his threat to sue and telling us
> to have our lawyer 
> or insurance company call him.
> We
> contacted our insurance 
> company which initially said they would cover this, but now
> say they do 
> not.  They say they talked to the lawyer and that he
> does intend to 
> sue.  He suggests we get a
> lawyer.
> Of course, getting a lawyer would probably
> cost more than 
> settling the case but we do not want to settle a false
> claim or hire a
> lawyer.
> We see
> this as a legal stick-up 
> -- the type of thing that will discourage others from
> calling the police when 
> they see a crime.
> Any
> suggestions?  Any 
> lawyers or others with experience with
> this?
> Thanks.
> KZ 
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