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Neighborhood tension boils over into violence in Kalamazoo

Neighborhood tension boils over into violence in Kalamazoo

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Hostility and tension between two neighbors who have been at odds for weeks turned violent on Kalamazoo's north side Monday morning.

The squabble between two neighbors over a used water heater sent one man to jail.

A neighbor we spoke to says the feud was actually between her husband and their neighbor, but because her husband wasn't home, she got caught in the middle.

"I just want him to leave me alone; I don't want any problems. I have lived here for 29 years in peace," said Michele Holdeman.

If you ask Michele Holdeman, she'll tell you a water heater was the subject of the violent dispute in her neighborhood early Monday morning.

"To do what he did for 80 bucks over a water heater is absolutely absurd," she said.

Kalamazoo Township Police Chief Tim Bourgeois says the feud took a violent turn at 5:30 in the morning on Woodward Avenue, when 49 year-old Curtis Young began shining the headlights of his truck on Holdeman's yard and house.

"They said that this man was upset and he seemed to feel that someone in the house owed him money regarding a used water heater and an argument ensued," Bourgeois said.

The 34-year-old mother says when Young couldn't contain his rage anymore, he decided to plow through her yard with his truck.

"I saw him kind of hurry and get his truck in gear to run it towards my house. And I warned him before I did. I jumped into my truck, turned it on, and I rammed him right in my front yard," Holdeman said.

Shortly after that, officers responded to the neighborhood following a report of a disturbance and the sound of gunshots.

"He came through my yard, running stuff over, he backed up down there, pulled down Amsterdam and backed up, and he just started firing," Holdeman said.

Chief Bourgeois says this serves as a cautious reminder of how quickly confrontations can escalate.

"You just never know what someone will do or have, and you never know when someone may be agitated, angry, upset, under the influence, to the point where they may not be making decisions like you would expect them to make," he said.

Young was arraigned Monday on two counts of felonious assault, and two weapons charges.

Police tell us their investigation reveals he was under the influence at the time of the confrontation.

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