Mitchell Igelko, Miami's Worst Neighbor, Gets Five Years Probation for Killing Neighbors' Lawns, Harassment
Neighborly feuds aren't particularly uncommon, but most don't escalate to the point where they lead to arrests and a feature on Good Morning America.
Mitchell Igelko, a Miami man accused of constantly harassing his neighbors in southwest Miami-Dade, killing some of their lawns, throwing eggs at their houses, and allegedly firebombing a boat, accepted a plea deal today that will keep him out of jail, but punish him with five years probation.
The incident dates back to 2008. Igelko, who owns a landscaping company, got upset when one neighbor, Bob DerHagopian, hired another company to do some lawn work. Soon after, DerHagopian's home started being vandalized, and he discovered other neighbors had faced similar problems. The neighbors decided to ban together and buy a video surveillance system.
Incidents, including nails and eggs being thrown at homes, flammable liquid being poured on cars, and a boat catching fire, were common in the neighborhood.
The cameras soon caught Igelko as the culprit. Neighbors had suspected him because it seemed his home was the only not being targeted.
One incident caught on camera saw Igelko driving in his truck and spraying some sort of chemical out the window. A few days later the neighbor's lawn began to die.
Mitchell was finally arrested last year on criminal mischief charges. The arrest made national news, and was even featured on Good Morning America.
Today Igelko entered a plea deal. He won't face jail time, but will get five years of probation. Igelko has since moved and was also ordered to have no contact with his old neighbors.
"I'm very happy that it is all over and that I can move on with my life," Igelko told CBS Miami.
Though, his former neighbors aren't satisfied with this sentence.
"He threatened to kill me many times," one former neighbor, Francisco Torres, told the station. "I was lucky that in one day I caught him, you know, with a video recorder."
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.