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Police: Woman beats neighbor over dog 'going to the bathroom' in her yard

Suspect charged with aggravated battery

TAVARES, Fla. – A Lake County woman is accused of hitting her neighbor and her neighbor's dog with a club because the pooch was "going to the bathroom" in her yard, according to the Tavares Police Department.

Police said the victim, Gloria Stepp, was walking her dog on Umbrella Court Monday morning when Sylvia White came out of her home and told her to get off her property. Stepp said she ignored White and kept walking her canine toward the end of the street.

When Stepp and her 1-year-old dog were walking back past White's home, White came outside and swung a club at her, according to the affidavit.

"I was walking my dog and she came across the street and she hit me across the back with a golf club and she hit my dog and she said, 'The next time I see your dog I'm gonna shoot it,'" Stepp told a 911 operator.

The victim was hit in the back hard enough to leave a mark and the dog was also hit with the club, causing the animal to yelp in pain, the report said. White also told the victim that she would shoot her dog if she ever saw it again, according to authorities.

Stepp told News 6 that her dog pooped in White's yard last week and before she could return home to get a doggie bag, White yelled at her about the mess. Stepp said she cleaned up the excrement after the verbal altercation.

Police said when they arrived at White's home Monday, she was sitting on the couch with her head in her hands and said, "I'm in trouble." She also told police that she hit the woman and her dog because she was mad about the dog "going to the bathroom" on her lawn, which she had just paid to have upgraded with St. Augustine grass, police said.

White also apologized for the attack, according to the report.

Tavares Police Department Cpl. Sarah Coursey said it's not uncommon for neighbors to argue about pet issues, but she recommends contacting homeowners association officials since resorting to violence will surely result in an arrest.

"We understand there are arguments, neighbors, you know, get into arguments about this -- we had this happen multiple times. I can see the arguments and the frustrations but to get physical, that's where it draws the line," Coursey said.

White was arrested on a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.


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