A Florida man who won’t walk his dog on a leash now seems set to lose his $380,000 home, all because he refuses to pay a $1,000 ‘leash violation’ fine to his Homeowners Association. And he’s ready to kill over it.
Robert Wirth, Jr., now owes around $100,000 in legal fees following the seven-year epic battle with his HOA, which foreclosed on his home (actually owned by his wife) to collect the debt incurred after he was caught walking his black lab, Cole, without a leash in the deed-restricted subdivision.
Wirth refuses to pay the fine because he believes the restrictions are too, well, restrictive, and shouldn’t even apply to his wonderful, well-behaved dog.
But even if Cole is “gentle and loving”, his owner certainly isn’t: If Wirth loses the case, he intends to shoot and kill a board member, citing Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law“, which allows you to “meet force with force, including deadly force… if necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm.”
“I am not going to let them ruin me and my wife like this without standing up to them,” Wirth told the St. Petersburg Times. The paper says his threat was reported to the police, and they are “monitoring the situation” while the case is being appealed.
An expert interviewed in the article says that deed restriction violations rarely result in the resident losing the home, but that the HOA has an obligation to enforce the restrictions.
“If they don’t take steps to enforce deed restrictions,” Lyons [a local real estate attorney] said. “They lose the ability to enforce them.”
Man, you gotta know when to hold them.. and when to fold them. That’s our advice.
Foreclosure looms over Tarpon Springs man who walked dog off leash [St. Petersburg Times]