NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – A Newport News man faces several charges after his next-door neighbor showed police surveillance video of him trespassing and vandalizing her yard.
Authorities say 76-year-old Charlotte Barnes has a restraining order against her neighbor on Old Bridge Road, 56-year-old Willie Nichols. The side of Nichols’ home is on the property line with Barnes’ backyard in the Lee’s Mill community near Fort Eustis.
Barnes installed video cameras last summer when she said Nichols harassed her. Newport News police say Barnes reported problems with Nichols over the past ten days, and they made copies of her surveillance video for evidence.
10 On Your Side asked Barnes how safe she felt with Nichols next door, only a few feet away.
“Not really,” Barnes said. “Anybody like that, I never been around anybody like that.”
Barnes has video from May 27 of Nichols entering her property, pulling up the perennials Barnes recently planted, and hounding her as she mowed her lawn. Barnes said her trouble with Nichols has escalated from trespassing to vandalism to terrorizing threats.
“He started throwing the boards out [that surrounded my plants,] and he told me that if I put them back, he was going to knock the hell out of me,” she said.
Nichols admits he sprayed weed killer on Barnes’ plants, but claims he was just taking care of his property.
Police have charged Nichols with assault and battery, trespassing, obstructing justice, and making false statements. Reminded of the charges, Nichols ended the conversation with WAVY’s Chris Horne.
Nichols is free on bond awaiting a June 13 court date.