Flashing lights & monkey noises: My experience at the scene of a local story that got national attention

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"We fought for this country, but yet there's nobody to fight for us"

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – As I was on my way to get on-site for this story, I couldn’t help but think about how awful this family must be feeling getting harassed by their next door neighbor for years.

This Virginia Beach family says it has been dealing with monkey noises playing from the speakers of their next door neighbor, flashing lights whenever they come outside of their house, a burned line of grass next to their house, and eight cameras recording this family.

WAVY Reporter Madison Pearman started looking into the family’s ordeal in late September. Following her report, it began getting national attention.

When Madison was interviewing Jannique Martinez, there was a clear frustration about what is being done to her and her family. As we were on-site, we noticed several cameras on her neighbor’s home and felt sure that everything we were saying and doing was being recorded by that neighbor.

I was right behind Madison when she knocked on the neighbor’s door, hoping to get his side of the story. He didn’t open the door, but I was pretty sure he was home and saw us.

The family says this neighbor has repeatedly hurt them through what they believe are racist motives. The Virginia Beach Police Department has identified this as a case that “did not rise to a level that Virginia law defines as criminal behavior.”

During the interview, Jannique said “we fought for this country, but yet there’s nobody to fight for us.” Martinez served 11 years in the military and her husband is currently in the military.

A couple weeks after I went out with Madison to cover this story, I was happy to hear that the neighbor’s unwanted behavior had “voluntarily ceased.”

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