Dead chicken with cigarette after neighbors feud

Dray Clark reporting
March 27, 2014 5:16:08 PM PDT
A feud between neighbors has turned criminal on Staten Island and police say it's led to animal abuse and arrests.

"You know what the cops tell me, we're getting tired of his," said Charles Gabel, barn owner.

When neighbors become nemesis, sometimes it can get ugly.

"It's been going on for a year and a half," Gabel said.

80-year-old Charles "Clark" Gabel, a retired Navy man, who spends his days with his animals and in a barn on Staten Island has been feuding with his neighbors, the Conti's.

And last Saturday, he says Mrs. Conti laid him out.

"She punched me right in the chest and pushed me to the ground. She's crazy," Gabel said.

The next day he says she killed one of his birds.

The Gabel's recorded the entire incident on one of their four security cameras.

The video shows Conti hitting the bird with her car, walking over to kick it, and then bending over to put a cigarette in the dead animal's mouth.

Michelle Conti was charged with assault and torturing an animal.

Last year, her husband Vincent was charged with lewdness.

They both have pending court dates.

"They don't have to live here, they can go some other place," Gabel said.

The Conti's did not answer their door.

The Gabel's claim the Conti's don't like their birds because their nasty and noisy and that's how the feud started.

Mr. Gabel also says he's been called a bigot for keeping a swastika flag inside his barn.

He wouldn't show the flag to Eyewitness News. So Eyewitness News asked him, are you a racist?

"We're not like that at all," Gabel said.

Gabel says he's not a troublemaker nor is he a peacemaker.

"I'll work it out with the devil before I work it out with them," Gabel said.

So like this windmill the feud will just keep going and going.

The two neighbors just can't along. There will be no happy ending, at least not today.