Backyard fire leads to assault

Published 2:21 am Tuesday, April 22, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- A man who assaulted his neighbor with the nozzle of a garden hose, causing injury, was arrested in Niles Saturday for assault and battery and resisting and obstructing a police officer.
Michael Lee Webber, 51, 603 Woodruff St., Niles, first called the fire department because a neighbor and the neighbor's friends were sitting around a camp fire in the neighbor's garden, the police report said.
The police report said the fire department came and told Webber it was legal for his neighbor to have a recreational fire.
After the fire department left, Webber allegedly went over and told his neighbors to put out the fire before he did, the police report said.
After some words with the neighbor Webber allegedly went back into his garden, grabbed his garden hose, and allegedly sprayed his neighbor and the fire, police reports said.
The neighbor then walked across the back yard toward Webber and a confrontation ensued. The police report said when the neighbor got close to Webber, Webber allegedly swung the garden hose, striking his neighbor in the upper left arm with the nozzle head, causing injury.
The neighbor told police Webber allegedly swung once more, this time allegedly hitting the neighbor in the left chin area, the police report said.
When police arrived, several witnesses to the incident were interviewed, and they allegedly told the same story as the injured neighbor.
The injured neighbor told police he wanted to press charges, but Webber had left his home by then and police were unable to speak to him, the police report said. At approximately 12.52 p.m, however, the Niles City Police dispatch received a phone call saying Webber was home, the police report said
The police report said officers then went to Webber's home and arrested him, pending charges.
Before the arrest, officers allegedly had to hold Webber up against a boat to get control over him and Webber allegedly continually tried to pull away until he was handcuffed, the police report said. Webber was transported to the Niles Police Department where he was lodged for the alleged offenses.