Fencing business volunteers to rebuild 86-year-old's fence

Brevard veteran out $3K to unlicensed contractor after Hurricane Irma

PALM BAY, Fla. – Last month, when police said an unlicensed contractor ripped off a veteran, taking $3,000, the victim tried rebuilding his backyard fence himself.

Donald Hollis started the project but it became too much work for the 86-year-old. 

So Hollis turned to News 6 to get results and Monday, the community stepped up.

"Oh, it makes me feel great," Hollis said after Cates Fencing Inc. of Palm Bay began rebuilding his fence, which was damaged in September by Hurricane Irma.

"I made a foolish mistake and I gave him too much," Hollis told News 6 in December speaking about the deal he made with fraud suspect Paul Morissette.

"He did what he had to do to get the man's money and run off," Chris Cates, of Cates Fencing, described the alleged ripoff.

Cates said after he saw the original story and wanted to fix the unfortunate situation.

"We're just here to take care of a man who was taken advantage of," Cates said.

His workers provided the labor Monday and Lowe's in Palm Bay provided the materials. Everything was free of charge.

"You've put your time in and you've served," Cates told Hollis, who is a veteran. "This is the least we can do."

"I had a lot of concern about this trying to figure out, how am I going to do this," Hollis said, thanking Cates and his workers.

Cates Fencing finished rebuilding the backyard fence by 5 p.m.

Morissette returns to a Brevard County courtroom next month. He's charged with contracting without a license during an emergency.

About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.