EAST SPENCER, N.C. (WJZY) — Two new homes in Rowan County were damaged after police say a local man intentionally cut trees to fall onto them.
Charles Ramsey, 37, was charged with two counts of felony damage to property after police said he cut down trees on two separate days that damaged two of the four new homes on Third Street in East Spencer.
“I have seen trees that have been cut hit houses,” said East Spencer Police Chief John Fewell. “But I have never seen somebody actually trying to hit a house.”
Fewell said the markings on the tree stumps and the way in which the trees fell made it obvious they had been intentionally cut down.
According to Fewell, the property manager initially alerted the police department last week that a tree appeared to have intentionally been cut down, causing minor damage to the siding of one of the new homes. Fewell says the damage to the first home is estimated to be about $150.
Then over the weekend, a Realtor showing another one of the new homes found additional damage. This time, the entire side of a second home was destroyed, with a tree crashing through the roof and top floor of the home. Fewell said that the home will likely need to be rebuilt due to structural damage.
A neighbor, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she heard the second tree fall but didn’t think much of it. She said that since developers had cut back a lot of trees for the construction, she assumed a weak tree had simply fallen.
“It was a loud rumble, so that’s what made me come out,” the neighbor said. “I didn’t know where the noise had come from, and then I saw the tree laying across the top of the house.”
Fewell said Ramsey has not given a reason as to why he may have wanted to destroy the homes, although there are neighbors who aren’t happy with all the new home construction happening in East Spencer.
“I know there are some residents that are natives that may not feel comfortable about the new builds, but I think it’s good for the town,” he said.
Ramsey was released on a written promise to appear in court.