3am is early. No matter what time you fall asleep 3am is never a good time to wake up. 3am is not my favorite time to wake up. Last night was NO exception.
Being as pregnant as wifey is; it is impossible to sleep through the night without having to pee at least once, maybe more. 3am is when wifey had that call to go, so up she went. Rarely do I even stir when she rolls herself to her feet to waddle her way to the bathroom. When she woke me up, a million things are running through my head. Especially while she is leaning out of the bathroom yelling at me to wake up. The suprarenal gland kicked on and I could feel the adrenaline surging through my veins. I ask what's wrong.
She hears a noise.
A noise. What kind of noise?
Just then it started back up.
For those who don't know the layout of my condo, I am the meat of the condo sandwich. I have a 2 story condo and all of my walls upstairs are accessable from the roof of my neighbors' ranch style condos.
The noise was coming from the wife's closet. It sounded like someone was sawing their way into my home. An eerie thought at 3am when you're tired and have a natural drug that can bring someone out of anaphylactic sock surging in your veins. I got out of bed and walked down the hall and looked out another window. I didn't see anyone, but I could hear the noise. Wifey got freaked out, so I told her to call the non-emergency number of the police station. No reason to dial 911, it mean, if I saw some dude, call, but it was just a noise. Could have been a bird, or raccoon or something.
The police came about 3:30am, or about 3 minutes after I called them. One great thing about the burbs is that the police response time is amazing. I could see the officer walk up my driveway from my bedroom window and there was a flood light drenching my entire building in light. He was making a close up inspection with his Maglite.
I met him at my back patio door and explained to him what I was hearing. The noise had stopped at this time so we chalked it up to an animal that was trapped and got away. There was no one on the roof.
By the time our heart rate slowed down and we were in a place we could go back to sleep, it was nearly 4:30 or 5am.
6am my ears woke me up as it delivered to my brain, the noise. Again. At 6am.
I grabbed my phone and tromped down the stairs. The noise was back and as I went downstairs, it got louder and louder. I ran outside to make sure no one was outside, and then that is when it hit me. It was the crazy neighbor. The one who said I planted a "sound effect machine" in her apartment that emitted a high pitched vibration that got into her head.
She was banging on the walls, and yelling so loud, I could hear it in my condo, through a wall. I was so aggravated. I went upstairs and told Jenn that it was her, and I was pissed off. It's one thing to blame me for something I am not doing, but to create such a disturbance at those hours of the day, is just unacceptable.
By 8am my landlord was awake and called me back. She was furious. She said that I should call the condo association people and have her come down and hear it if it comes back. I did one better. I recorded it with my trusty BlackBerry.
I e-mailed it over to her within seconds. By 10am I was on my way to work, and my landlord was on her way to the police station to file a restraining order against her for harassment. In Ohio landlords must file on behalf of their tenants, or so we thought. The condo association President and Secretary were going to talk to her to tell her to stop it.
By 12pm she had called me back and said that there was nothing she could do because there was not property damage, but said that I can file a complaint and send a registered letter to her that basically said, stop the banging, don't ever call me, and stay away from my family. It was my problem, not my landlords problem, until property damage happens.
I was home by 7pm today and without incident until about 9pm when I was pulling dinner off the grill. The noise came back. Enough was enough.
I called the police [non-emergency] and let them know what was going on. This woman has gone so far as to stress my wife out to the point she jumped out of her skin, and she is not comfortable sitting on her own couch.
The police came and talked to her. She invited the officer in and he inspected the house looking for this "device". She told him, "Can't you hear it?"
All he heard was the dim hum of her refrigerator. He told her, I am sorry ma'am, but I don't hear anything. After he left there, he stopped by the house to hear what I had to say. I gave it to him from the top. Once he took in what I said, he told us, she has got some problems. He wasn't an expert and by no means was diagnosing her, but he's seen the ugly side of schizophrenia and I have seen what it can to do a person. It isn't pretty. Paranoia, hearing things, irrational actions. All of these play into the ugly animal.
He said that he instructed her to knock off the banging and that it is causing a nuisance. He left after I shook his hand and thanked him for coming out. He said if it persists, then I can file a formal criminal complaint.
Within minutes of the police coming, the condo association called wifey. She apologized and gave Jenn the low down of what THEY are going to do to help control this woman.
At this point there is no question that this woman needs help and she needs it fast. Unfortunately, in the State of Ohio, only family can have someone committed. This woman did not have a family that they knew of. No emergency contact information on the association forms. So what are they to do?
Tuesday we shall find out. Until then, I am to call the police when she bangs on my walls at whatever hour of the day and then I have to file a formal criminal complaint. If she bangs on the walls after that, well, then she can be arrested for harassment and once she is under detention by the police, she could get a psyche consult.
In the end there is nothing anyone can do. A part of me wishes she stops, but over the past few months her behavior has escalated quickly, so maybe by me calling the police and keeping them involved, she might be able to get the help she needs. It makes me nervous, but I am confident that if she were to try something completely irrational, I could defend my family if needed, which I hope doesn't happen. There is a certain surge of strength that comes through you when put into extreme situations. I hope that on Tuesday they find her family and I don't have to get the police involved or get involved myself.
I just don't want her to hurt herself or anyone else, especially my family.