Greene Co. Sheriff: Nothing can be done about obscene message on private property


CHUCKEY, Tenn. (WJHL) – A profane message on private property is causing controversy between neighbors in the Chuckey community.

The obscene message reads “F*** you.”

“I just get upset because my kids, my wife, they have to look at that every time they leave,” said Lou Aldanese, who lives off of Sugar Bowl Road in Chuckey. 

Aldanese said the profane message is spray-painted on a water tank and sits on his neighbor Ben English’s private property.

He also said that English had turned the tank toward his home on Monday. 

The message has been sitting on the property since May 28, according to Aldanese.

“I guess someone had complained or something because yesterday afternoon, he moved it where it just comes to pointing at our driveway,” he said.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Department said this all comes after a series of neighbor disputes between the Aldanese family and Mr. English.

“If he wants the sign taken down, leave me alone,” said English, “leave my family alone, [we’ll be] just fine. 

English said he intended to take down the sign in a few days, but may now reconsider.

“I may leave it up now,” he said. “I may change the message, the bottom line is this, leave me alone you aren’t going to hear nothing out of me.”

Greene County Sheriff Wesley Holt said this does not violate any county ordinances or codes.

“It’s on his own property, it’s not illegal,” said Holt. “We’ve looked into it, it’s freedom of speech, he can more or less say what he wants to. Morally and ethically, is it right? No, but he can put what he wants to on that.”

The only law deputies can enforce has to do with obscene material on a vehicle because it can cause a traffic hazard.

“We have to go out on a lot of complaints where neighbors can’t get along,” said Holt, “but if the neighbors would just sit down and talk to each other, peacefully, calmly, you can resolve a lot of issues that way.”

Greene County Sheriff Wesley Holt said they were sending a deputy out on Tuesday to ask Ben English to take down the water tank, but said it’s ultimately up to English whether he takes it down or not.

“If all the harassment would stop,” said Aldanese, “I would be happy.”

“That’s about the bottom line brother,” said English, “leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone.”

At this time, Sheriff Holt said only the Aldanese family has submitted a complaint about the water tank to the Greene County Sheriff’s Department.

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