A couple was slapped with charges Monday following an investigation into the alleged harassment experienced by their neighbor, a Black woman who moved into her Long Island home three years ago and says she's lived in fear because of their actions.
Jennifer McLeggan, a registered nurse and single mom, drew internet and community support after posting a large note covering up the front door of her home that claimed her Valley Stream neighbors had been racially harassing her by throwing feces in her yard, leaving dead squirrels on her property and telling her to go back to where she came from.
She said many of the incidents have been caught on her surveillance camera and she took the videos to court where she won a $5,000 judgment, but the harassment continued.
A little over a month after McLeggan's post caught attention and prompted a police investigation in Nassau County, prosecutors charged her neighbors, John McEneaney and Mindy Canarick, with harassment, criminal tampering, and criminal mischief.
"The sign on Jennifer McLeggan's door broke my heart and rallied a community to her aid. It also moved my office to investigate this matter because nobody should have to live in hear of harassment from their neighbors," Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said Monday in a statement.
According to the prosecutor, McEneaney shot pellet guns repeatedly across McLeggan's lawn between April 2017 and July 2020.
"It's a shame that it takes a community to rally around someone to take to the streets to advocate or justice," McLeggan's attorney, Heather Palmore, told News 4.
McEneaney, 57, and Canarick, 53, were arrested Monday and arraigned before Judge Erica Prager, who granted an order of protection for McLeggan. The couple are due back in court in October.
Leaving court Monday, McEneaney declared his innocence and claimed he and his partner were victims of the situation. Canarick did not wish to speak to reporters.