EAST MEADOW, Long Island (WABC) -- A man on Long Island is under arrest, accused of macing or pepper-spraying his girlfriend's elderly neighbor in what is believed to be a dispute over a dog.
The incident happened late Tuesday night on Chaladay Lane in East Meadow.
Police say 38-year-old David Likhtiger went to his 75-year-old neighbor's home and began banging on the door. When the Alan Wharton answered, Likhtiger allegedly sprayed him in the face and fled the scene.
"Unfortunately, this is the world we're living in today, and people think they have a right to take the law into their own hands and do something like this," Wharton said. "And I think it stinks."
It is believed the incident was over the victim's dog urinating on the suspect's lawn, but some area residents say the dispute has been ongoing for some time. Likhtiger's doctor tells Eyewitness News that the 75-year-old man beat up Likhtiger last July. Likhtiger had apparently started throwing rocks at Wharton, who claimed he was defending himself. No charges were filed in that incident.
Likhtiger is from Stratford, Connecticut, but he reportedly stays with his girlfriend in East Meadow five days a week for work as a musician in the area.
"Dave is a really sweet guy, and it's just been an ongoing issue that escalated," said a woman who didn't want to be identified, but who neighbors confirmed to be Likhtiger's girlfriend.
He is charged with assault, and bail was set at $10,000. The judge also issued an order of protection against Likhtiger to keep him away from Wharton.
Police: Long Island man pepper-sprays neighbor, possibly over urinating dog