Loathe Thy Neighbor
An 11-Year Neighborhood Feud Involved Restraining Orders, Spells, and Jail Time
Mark Cantor was pulling his green Mini Cooper into his driveway one evening when a pair of headlights jumped the curb behind him and came barreling across the front lawn, straight toward him.
The 54-year-old graphic designer was barefoot. As usual, he had slipped off his sandals for the slow commute from his Design District office to his house in the Roads — a quiet, leafy neighborhood of single-family homes southwest of downtown Miami.
A meticulous type, Cantor personally maintained his 1930s Mediterranean-style house and its lush array of palms and bougainvillea. He kept the place immaculate and called it his "dream home."
But the headlights careening across his pampered Bermuda grass that night in 2008 were about to turn that dream into an Orwellian nightmare that would force him out of his home, land him in criminal court facing up to 30 years in state prison, and embroil him in a legal battle that has continued for more than 11 years and is still brewing today.
A dispute between two neighborhood kids turned into an alleged nightmare for two families in a Miami neighborhood. Graphic designer Mark Cantor says that after he scolded his son's playmate for alleged bullying, the playmate's dad - a Miami cop named Willy Alvarez - verbally assaulted and threatened him. What followed was a decade-long dispute that involved multiple arrests, the sales of both of the families' homes, three criminal trials, and a civil lawsuit that's been dragging on for seven years.
Terence Cantarella, writing at the Miami New Times, examines this crazy neighborhood feud — that KEPT getting crazier. It’s a great piece of longform reporting. Read it at the link below.