Virginia police say neighbor’s ‘horribly offensive behavior’ has ‘voluntarily ceased’

Around the South

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — For a group of neighbors in a Virginia Beach neighborhood, silence is golden.

According to police, a frustrating situation among neighbors in a cul-de-sac in the Salem Lakes neighborhood of Virginia Beach has “voluntarily ceased.”

For more than a year, a neighbor’s loud music and other offensive sounds coming over the speakers tormented several residents. 10 On Your Side went to the neighborhood to investigate.

In the past, Jannique Martinez said music would play loudly over her neighbor’s speakers, shaking her home. After alerting police about the music, Martinez said her neighbor retaliated by playing racial slurs and monkey noises.

However, since 10 On Your Side’s story originally aired — and went viral — police say the loud music and offensive sounds have ceased. Police released a statement on Twitter Thursday detailing the results of their response.

When 10 On Your Side inquired about the situation on Jessamine Court last month, police said they were limited in what they could do. While the sounds were annoying and offensive, police said the issue didn’t rise to the level that warranted criminal charges.

In Thursday’s update, Police Chief Paul Neudigate said the neighbor’s “horribly offensive behavior” had “voluntarily ceased” as of Sept. 23.

Neudigate, in a release from the department, said he was able to speak directly with the complainant and assured her that she should call police again if the behavior reoccurs.

The police department said a thorough investigation was conducted by the Virginia Beach Police Department, and the City Attorney, Magistrate, and Commonwealth’s Attorney and all entities agreed the neighbor’s behavior didn’t rise to the criminal level.

“The VBPD will continue to monitor the situation and if this conduct arises in the future, it will again evaluate the facts and evidence and take whatever steps possible to bring it to an end. Additionally, the VBPD has continued to explore other avenues of redress, including contacting the Federal Bureau of Investigation to see if there was anything actionable from a Federal standpoint,” the department wrote in the release.

Separately, the Civil Division of the Virginia Attorney General’s Office is investigating the matter.

After our original reporting on Friday, an investigator with Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia reached out to 10 On Your Side looking to make contact with the Martinez family.

They are actively looking into the situation to see what can be done for them. According to their site, a division of their team works to protect minorities from harassment in their neighborhoods.

They say harassment can include interference, coercion, threats or intimidation.

Police also released a timeline of the various calls to the neighborhood for the issue. Read the details here.

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