Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

A dispute between two neighbours in Campbell River in which one intended to “upset, offend and cause stress,” has resulted in more than $16,000 in damages, according to a recent decision in B.C. provincial court.

Judge Catherine Crockett made her decision July 31, against Reno Pellegrin in his dispute with John and Sherri Wheeldon which lasted more than six years, primarily involving a concrete retaining wall between two neighbouring properties.

In 2008, the Wheeldons constructed a sports court at the back of their lot, and a concrete retaining wall between their property and the Pellegrin’s. Due to a miscalculation of the property line and the fact the concrete spread, part of the wall ended up on the Pellegrin property.

In her decision, Crockett noted the error was inadvertent, not intentional.

RELATED: $2.9 million judgment in B.C. blueberry farm sabotage lawsuit

RELATED: Student files class action lawsuit against University of Victoria over parking fees

She also explained Pellegrin testified that despite the wall being on his land, it was also to his benefit, as it effectively shored up his yard, which is higher than the Wheeldons’ property.

Around 2013 to 2014, the cordial relationship between the neighbours broke down. In April 2014, Pellegrin dumped approximately 20 pounds of dog feces on the Pellegrin/Wheeldon property line.

Crockett said it is clear the retaining wall constitutes an ongoing trespass. On Dec. 15, 2015, Pellegrin took the position he was entitled to remove the wall, and partially took it down with a jackhammer. He estimated he removed 14 inches from the top.

“Mr. Pellegrin submits that spraypainting the word ‘Remove’ on the wall in May and June of 2015 was a form of warning, as was his letter of June 9, 2014,” she wrote.

In the decision, Crockett reviewed videos of Pellegrin taking down the wall. Some of the statements she heard from Pellegrin on the videos include: “Hope you and yours have a merry merry Xmas …. This is what happens when you don’t get along with your neighbours …. Call the cops about every little thing. Call bylaws and animal control about every little thing. Here’s what happens.”

She said Pellegrin created a dangerous situation with concrete falling to the ground, jackhammering at the level of people’s faces and causing the fence to fall.

“The evidence also establishes, quite clearly, that Mr. Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice … in short, this was a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act.”

Crockett added while the law does permit a person to remove a trespass or nuisance in certain circumstances, “this is not the case.”

There was no urgency to the situation. The wall caused him no harm. In fact, as he testified, the wall benefited him, she wrote. “His jackhammering of the wall was anything but a proportionate response to the trespass. There was nothing approaching ‘exceptional circumstances’ to justify his action.”

Due to trespassing, Crockett awarded $2 in favour of Pellegrin against the Wheeldons: $1 for walking onto Pellegrin’s property on various dates and another dollar for the ongoing trespass of the retaining wall.

She awarded $16,801 to the Wheeldons which included $6,300 to replace the retaining wall, $6,000 in general damages and $2,500 in general, aggravated and punitive damages for various repeated nuisances and trespasses.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.



photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

UPDATE: Fire above Sparwood no threat to community

Mayor David Wilks reported it may be due to an exposed coal seam

Conservative opposition critic tours through Kootenay riding on listening tour

Pierre Poilievre, the Tory finance critic, gathering local feedback on pandemic supports, recovery issues

EKC makes $5,000 donation to Elk Valley ultrasound campaign

The EKC challenged other businesses to help the campaign hit its $300,000 target

City of Fernie to extend pilot snow removal program

Councillors voted unanimously on Sep. 17 to extend the program due to a lack of data points and disruption due to the pandemic

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read