Man Saws Neighbor’s Garage in Half During Boundary Dispute

  • And it may have been the best thing for the whole situation.

According to Gabriel Brawn of Maine, the man who sawzall-ed his neighbor’s garage, he was good with the man who originally built the structure, just not everyone that has since been residing on the property. 

Brawn used a land surveyor’s demarcation between the lots as his guide and removed the half of the garage that was on his land while the dispute of the building was still in progress. 

His wife said that his actions the day after Memorial Day ‘marked the latest, and they hope the final, step of an often contentious relationship between her family, others in the neighborhood and various inhabitants of 148 Grove St. in recent years.’

Several decades ago, a small house was added to a part of the property of 140 Grove Street, that is now known as 148 Grove St. The relationship between the two neighbors was fine until late 2016, when the former owner of 148, Steve Ritter, died.

Ritter’s wife, Theresa Laythe-Ritter took over owning the place and is an infrequent resident but relations have been strained with renters and others who’ve stayed in the house, since. 

“When the dad [Steve Ritter] was alive this was a perfect place to live,” she said. “As soon as that poor man passed away this place turned to craziness and chaos.”

The Brawn’s did try to buy the house in an attempt to resolve their issues. But when they put a load of wood chips over the previously determined line, the Ritter’s son didn’t like it, and planted a stake in the ground where the chips were.

“He said, ‘This is our property, get your stuff off it,’ so we had to call a land surveyor,” she said.

The land surveyor told them that the property line went directly through the middle of the garage. “The day the surveyor came and set the pins, the tenants that were there packed up and moved out that night,” Brawn said.

Brawn is a construction worker and as such, took a sawzall to the garage and skillfully cut down the half of the garage that was on his families property. He left the remains on the other side of the surveyor’s line.

“There’s been a property-line dispute for a couple of months and obviously that was the result between Mr. Brawn and the owner of the other building,” Dover-Foxcroft police Chief Ryan Reardon said.

A fence will be put up between the two houses and according to Reardon, “We were aware of the situation and believe it’s been resolved at this point.”


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