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5-year neighborhood feud ends with eviction

Orlando man ordered to vacate his home

ORLANDO, Fla. – John Gary Pherai has been ordered to leave his Orlando home after violating a "no contact" injunction filed by his neighbors.

Lisa and Jeff Hewitt have been in a property line dispute with Pherai since 2005.

Pherai allegedly painted intimidating signs and messages on the back of his home in plain view of his neighbors.

He turned over home security video to the Orange County Sheriff's Office showing Jeff Hewitt driving over his mailbox at least four times.

Pherai said it was intentional calling it "pure harassment."

Orange County Circuit Court Judge A. James Craner ruled it was Pherai who was guilty of harassment, placing him on probation in June.

As a condition of probation, Pherai must move from his home in 4905 Simmons Road in Orlando by Oct. 8.

Pherai had hoped the video clips would prove he was the victim, but the Hewitts claimed he moved the mailbox into the path of their shared driveway.

Orange County Jail records show Pherai was arrested, booked, and jailed at least five times between 2007 and 2009 for violating no-contact injunctions filed by the Hewitts.

Pherai spent six months in jail between Aug. 2008 and Feb. 2009 for violating the injunction.

The long-running feud is the latest in a series of neighborhood battles reported across Central Florida.

Orange County sheriff's Deputy Eric Lucas admits police assume the role of referee as well as law enforcement officer.

"We go ahead and obtain the facts from both sides and try to determine who is right or if anybody's right," Lucas said.

Orlando attorney David Mallen has handled dozens of these types of cases.

"Your basic rights are to seek an injunction, through the court system. Don't take the law into your own hands, that's always the worst outcome, " Mallen said.

Orange County sheriff's deputies have been offering neighbors an alternative to court battles.

The Citizen Dispute Settlement provides free mediation through the Orange County Bar Association. They can be reached at: 407-423-5732