Hawg Comes Back (10/10)
**Trigger warnings still stand: If you’re easily bothered by things such as suicide, rape, child abuse, animal neglect, sex trafficking, narcissist behavior, and maybe some other related topics, you should skip these posts. It’s not my regular happy-go-lucky sort of deal. Previous posts here: (1/10) (2/10)(3/10) (4/10) (5/10) (6/10) (7/10) (8/10) (9/10)**
Coco was legally removed from the property on April 8th
Hawg kept in touch about things. He said Coco was never again supposed to be at the property. We were told if she’s here, call the cops. He never said he was going to prison, or that he changed his plea to guilty. He said he ‘was going to Boise for 3 years’. Court documents said it was a 5-25 year sentence looming. I called the prosecutor to get the real story. They said it was very likely he would be out in three years but they ‘didn’t have enough information yet’ (after 8 months!!) and were planning on pushing sentencing back to July or August. When Hazel was the same age as his previous victims. Comforting.
In general, he didn’t seem to take the whole thing too seriously. It was like he was trying to play it off as ‘not a biggie’. It was a biggie though!
On April 9th, Hawg came back to the property
He did not move back in, as the place was no longer livable. There were months of dog poop and pee needed to be cleaned up, if possible, before moving back. He was sure he would get there though. The very first day back he started a bonfire. The fuel, great big, black, overstuffed trash-bags full of trash, left from Coco.
Our ‘I’m back’ gift: day after day of billowing black smoke. The really bad stuff he would leave until he was ready to go home. Then he would load up his fire ring with all kinds of nasty smelling, cancer causing, illegal to burn trash. Then leave!
We could see 10 foot tall flames
Given, it wasn’t peak fire season, but unattended fires are ALWAYS dangerous. And burning trash is NEVER healthy. Those are definitive statements and not up for debate, it’s baseline information as far as I’m concerned.
All day we are watching this fire. He has a pretty large ring, right out front of his place. If we can see any flame from our place it means they are about 6 feet tall. We could see LOTS of flame. All day. And smoke! I was getting ready to put dinner on the BBQ outside and I see him load up his fire and it starts roaring. Flames were literally taller than his house. Then we see him drive away!
At first I think, maybe he’s going to call it a day, go grab a beer and watch the fire, but still, dont load up a fire and then leave! I texted him, Hey, you’re fires still burning, are you coming back?
He texted back, “no, it shouldn’t jump the ring.”
So we now watch fires I guess
We stayed up until 1 am that night waiting for it to die down. It didn’t. We woke up at 3am and 4 am and there were STILL visible flames. We woke up in the morning and it was STILL smoking.
Do you know what burns that long? Rubber, plastic and styrofoam. Do you know what are the WORST things to burn? Rubber, plastic and styrofoam.
Can you picture how bad it smelled in our valley? I can assure you, you’re not doing it justice. It was horrific!
He starts the morning with a new load of trash on the fire for us to breath in. After burning all day he sent a text that his five dogs will be living out here from now on. He won’t be ‘yet’, but ‘just so we know’, they will be. We already knew, as the barking all night was a pretty good indicator. I texted back and said “Hey, can you make sure to put out the fire when you leave? It burned too big and too long for our comfort last night.”
He replies, “You know I would never put you in danger, right?”
We thought… well, that’s not really your judgement call to make… It was really hard to not say, ‘well… you haven’t show the best track record of making good decisions…’ but we didn’t answer, we let our ask be the last word from us. Until his dogs came down.
Back to the roaming dogs…
Brownie and Odin, the ones that chased our kids (some might even say the ones who ‘put us in danger’), came down and roamed our property. I again had to start asking him to call back his dogs.
He burned and burned and burned some more. At this point all of us were hoarse with a sore throat and it was unbearable to go outside. You could taste the stink! The wind was blowing it mostly up over the ridge. I’m not sure how those neighbors faired, it had to be awful! Thank goodness he actually put the fire out though because we got a giant wind storm that night that came out of nowhere. We often do this time of year.
He didn’t extinguish and so we just called the sheriff when it was still burning strong at bedtime. We told them our neighbor has a bon fire of trash burning and he’s not there to attend to it, but I’m pretty sure he shouldn’t be burning trash. The sheriff came out, deemed it fine and left. Fire still blazing.
We felt defeated, absolutely defeated! Why would a sheriff just let an unattended trash fire burn!?
I called my now friend at the sanitation department. She already knew the situation from our interactions with Coco. She was very concerned and asked me to call when he started a fire up again so she could come out personally and fine him. They already had an experience with Hawg burning trash and had to put an end to it. She was very mad he was doing it again.
I guess, the year he was here, that we were not, he would just burn all of his construction waste. I’m not talking wood cut-offs. I’m talking balls of plastic wrap that protected pieces and parts. She was livid and wanted to catch him in the act and slap some EPA fines on him.
Day 6 and 7
He took these days off. We didn’t see him. We just listened to the music of dogs barking all day and finally started to breath normal again.
He started early and burned a lot. It was the weekend so I didn’t call sanitation. Around dinner time he asked ‘how out does the fire need to be? Is smoke and small flames ok? The reason I want to know is that it would be hard to start again in the morning if I have to put it all the way out…’
I said it’s uncomfortable for us when he leaves an unattended fire burning and it’s also extremely stinky. It’s the type of smells that interrupts your sleep. It is extremely worrisome to us to look out our bedroom windows and see any flames or even to just know there is an unattended fire burning. We’d love it all the way out but use his kindest judgement.
Again, he told us he would never put us in danger.
He again left big flames.
We said dude, it’s really not cool that you make our valley stink like this and then you go back to your moms place and breath clean air. He said he was about halfway done burning. Then he told us that if he could afford to, he would take it to the dump. But he can’t, so this is what’s happening. He also tried to tell us about burn bands and why what he is doing is ok, “even encouraged” this time of year.
We had a spat about how it’s never ok to leave a fire unattended and how it’s illegal to burn trash. Ironically, during this time we were teaching our kids about fire safety when we burned our perfectly legal pine trimmings from a tree that had fallen down the previous winter. Even our kids knew what he was doing was really wrong.
(Don’t mind me with my environmental degree and special environmental certifications… or the fact that this smoke goes up, settles on all of our surfaces, like the ones where we collect our drinking water from. It’s pretty likely that his couple weeks of burning actually complicates our health. but yeah, what you’re doing is encouraged this time of year… eyeroll)
I was simply sick of not being able to breath easy at home and having to watch someone else’s fire. All while he left.
He moved the fire to indoors. He continued to burn, daily but mostly after he left for the day. We knew it was nasty still because it was jet black smoke. At least he couldn’t burn AS fast that way so there wasn’t AS much smoke to contend with.
He moves his fire pit to the back of his house so we couldn’t SEE the flames, and so he can burn more again. We continued to see the billowing black smoke when he left. Always after hours, always when I couldn’t call sanitation to report. WE were back to strong burning plastic smells.
Day 14 – This is the part that broke James
He texts that “there might be a couple little flames but I promise, nothings going to burn down.”
I have to tell you a little something about James, he does not anger easily. Believe me, I’ve challenged him a fair bit over the years! It’s almost frustrating how level headed he is! He’s beyond diplomatic, maybe a little too self-sacrificing but ‘easily angered’ is not anything I would EVER call him. He’s better than even me at giving people the benefit of the doubt, too.
At this point James is MAD. I mean, why even text?
He’s literally ignored our VERY reasonable request daily to not burn unless he could watch the fire. April is known for it’s random wind storms here. We’re sleep deprived because of watching his bonfires of trash throughout the night, every night. We have sore throats. We’re not even going outside at this point because it stinks so bad.
It’s bad enough we had to deal with Coco’s behaviors for the last year, now we literally have to breath her trash! Ridiculous!
James texts back, “Hawg, I want you to know we take your actions as an ‘f-you’, and I’m going to act accordingly”
Hawg texts back. This is our last communication with him.
We stopped writing back when it got directly disrespectful. I consider swearing at someone, across the line.
We call the sheriff
We did as we said we would, acted accordingly. James called the sheriff again. He was exasperated and explained that “we had called a couple weeks ago and the deputy literally did done nothing but look at it and leave. It’s against the law to burn trash and it feels like you guys should be handing this.”
They asked him, “how do you know it’s trash he’s burning?”
James said, “because he told us! And it’s billowing black smoke. and the smell is horrific, they MUST have smelled it when they came out and chose to do nothing.”
By his own account, James was hard on them. But holy hell, it’s 2022, why are people still burning trash? And why do they not care about that!? Why does our beautiful valley have to smell like a smoldering dump. Why isn’t it enough that we ask for that NOT to happen? We’re the ones that actually live here!
The sheriff hung up on James
I’ll say that again: The sheriff hung up on James! It’s unbelievable but their actions, excuse me, their inactions have been appalling from the word go!
And let me tell you, that is no way to calm down an upset person! He, the most level headed, most accommodating guy I know, was PISSED. I’ve never even seen that! James is incapable of violence, I know now because if anyone had a reason to become irate or violent, it was him. Then.
He just stewed!
We see headlights
It’s a sheriff deputy. He glared at our house as he drove by. But he drove by. Then he leaves. Nothing changed. We hoped he would use his fire extinguisher to put out the dang fire. Instead we figured it was like last time, they just simply did’t care.
Then Hawg comes ripping through the property!
He knows it bothers us to speed through, as Coco always did, so he didn’t hold back. I think he probably got over 60mph on our little dirt driveway. Thank GOD our animals were in because we had no warning!
He put out the fire, then ripped back through as fast as he could go and posted to facebook:
That’s us, we’re the cop calling bitches
From that day forward, every time he came and left (daily), he made a point to speed. We got him on video a few times. We figured it was only a matter of time before he got one of our animals and we were going to pursue it.
I went into hyper-vigilant mode, as if I didn’t already spend months there. There was not a second I didn’t know where Ginger, Denver, Hazel or Miles were.
Every day was something new and crazy to grapple. We mostly just tried to stay inside and out of the way, for our own safety. Biding our time until his sentencing, June 24th. It was just another way we felt held hostage in our house, to this wild scenario!
We had a wedding coming up
The kids were looking forward to a trip to Boise but as things were escalating, I really felt like I needed to be here in order to call the fire department, or whoever, should anything happen. I even made a joke to James that something big is going to happen and you’re going to miss it because you’re off doing fun stuff, lucky you…
Hawg turns 50
May 2nd was Hawg’s birthday. I was grateful he took some time off from working, it meant I could breath fresh air. I didn’t let my guard down, but I felt pretty confident he wasn’t going to be here for a couple days.
He came back, May 4th
He worked on the place all day. At a point, a legal delivery service showed up to try to deliver an eviction notice. She or her employee had been trying for several weeks at this point, we had already chatted with them so we knew what it was about. Again, she couldn’t make it up the hill due to the dogs rushing her. She backed all the way down.
I went out to chat with her. She had been coming and going a lot trying to post a notice. I wanted to advise her to be careful. It just seemed too volatile for a single lady to walk into five aggressive dogs and a guy who was pretty unstable currently by all accounts. She agreed that she needed help to post the notice and then left.
About 20 minutes later, Hawg’s son comes up the lane. Apparently Hawg told him he wasn’t going back to prison and he had planned this (I’m glad he gave his son that closure at least). His son called EMS. About 10 minutes later, every EMS vehicle I have seen around town drove up.
I initially thought it was someone to help the lady post her notice. As time went on though, it was clear something else had happened… That brings us full circle to my first post. Boy am I ever glad she wasn’t able to make it up the hill though!? It was the perfect storm of timing and it could have gone horribly wrong, really fast.
Even though Coco, had been legally removed from the property for about a month, she saw fit to drive through our place, not 12 hours after his death! I cannot tell you the stress I feel when I see a little blue car, and it turns out there are a LOT of them in this town!
I immediately called the sheriff. My first thought was she was going to try to squat again. A deputy goes out to talk to her as another one calls me to figure out what the complaint even is. I was on the phone with them as they were speaking to her. She had the audacity to claim “she was worried about the dogs”. That’s the reason she said she showed up!
While on the phone with them it sounded like they were thinking about releasing the five dogs into her care. I had to remind them, she JUST went through court for neglecting THOSE dogs and implored they did not release the animals to her. They didn’t.
The dogs still live uphill
To this very day, two of the five dogs are still living at the property. No one has lived there since at least Valentines day other than them, and it was only a night or two then. They bark all day and all night. Thank goodness it’s been a chilly June because it’s impossible to sleep with windows open.
Three of them have been rehoused by Hawg’s son. Odin and Brownie are still waiting for someone to take them in. It apparently costs too much to drop them off at a shelter, and they don’t want them at the shelter anyway. My thought is that a shelter would be a heck of a lot better at this point. Every few days they get a little kibble but really, life has still not improved much for them. They are just living in a house that has tried to destroy them in every possibly way.
Coco lives nearby
I heard she is living out of her car on the backroads, not far from us. I don’t put it past her to still be coming to our property at night. If we ever catch her on our cameras, I will be slapping on a no contact order and following that as far as it will go.
Ava is doing well
I hope so much for Ava that she can overcome all of this betrayal. So much of the trauma like this gets handed around and passed on through generations. I believe she’s special though. That girl could find the bright side in anything and I think she has the wherewithal to prevail over all of this and turn her life into something magical. It’s not going to be easy or fun. I sure hope others give her time, space and grace to work through all these demons. It’s more than one person should be forced to handle. And it will, no doubt leave a lasting scar.
I just have so much hope for her to be a pattern breaker.
It was going through a foreclosure process. Hawg overdosing himself has complicated that. His son has been taking care of the dogs and addressing things. I currently keep in touch with him when I see people going to the property. I hear he is not going to keep it, he’s just left trying to manage Hawg’s belongings. We help where we can.
We like his son, but him not keeping the place is a relief because he and his friend have been riding dirt bikes up there a lot. I’ve decided that is my least favorite sport. It’s loud and annoying sounding and it scars up the whole hillside. If they didn’t already start the construction of the highway I would be more mad about it. Everything is just ripped up around us now, anyway. So we’re dealing.
We sure hope that when it gets through the foreclosure process we get a better neighbor. Are any of you interested? I promise, we’ll be good neighbors! There is a small chance they may actually get a different access point as well (because of the obnoxious highway project). If I can will that to happen by speaking it out loud, I will! And if that happens, we can legally vacate the current access easement and have our own little dead end driveway. Wouldn’t that be amazing!?
I can hope, right?