A woman facing alleged racist harassment from neighbors since she moved into her home three years ago is now a step closer to justice.
The New York Daily News reports John McEneaney and girlfriend Mindy Canarick both face charges involving claims of scare tactics against the Black woman who lives next door. McEneaney, 57, is charged with criminal mischief and harassment while Canarick, 53, faces charges of criminal tampering.
They were both arrested on Monday.
Jennifer McLeggan, the alleged victim, claims the pair have committed multiple acts of intimidation. theGrio previously reported she has video evidence and was the target of behavior such as dead animals and dog feces left in her yard.
Since the original news story broke, community members have come together to aid McLeggan in her efforts to live safely. Men stood guard outside of her residence all night. A protest in her honor drew crowds of 500 demanding the neighbors be stopped. She shared the footage on her personal Twitter account.
Heather Palmore, the lawyer for McLeggan, shares with the Daily News that the arrests were past due.
“The aggression of the neighbor, (it) went on too long. For years she felt unsafe coming to a place she was supposed to feel safe at, coming home,” Palmore says to the Daily News.
She continues, “But it’s more representative of the overall state of the poor relationship between the police and the Black community here on Long Island.”
After their arrest, both suspects were released and Judge Erica Prager issued a an order of protection for both to stay away from McLeggan’s home reports the Daily News.
While this is the first time the criminal justice system is involved, McLeggan did win a $5,000 judgement against Canarick in small claims court after a judge awarded her reimbursed funds for paying contractors to remove dog poop according to the Daily News.
The Daily News reports only days before the arrest McEneaney asserted the claims were “absolutely absurd and untrue,” and says he has received “a lot of death threats,” due to the conflict.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Pat Ryder tells reporters there is currently no evidence of racial bias however the claims would be fully investigated.
“At this time, we do not have any evidence of any bias — but that does not mean it is not there. We have more work to do,” he says according to the Daily News.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!