An Ocala man who has been in a long-running dispute with his part-time neighbors and frequently hangs a noose from his golf cart roof was arrested Wednesday on a charge of aggravated stalking.
James Paul Hein, 63, was taken into custody at 4:05 p.m. at his home at 9698 SW 94th Ave., Unit A in Ocala. His arrest followed several complaints from a couple stemming from Hein’s actions regarding a camera they have mounted on their home.
The couple told a Marion County sheriff’s deputy that they originally installed the camera in October 2017 after one of them had back surgery so they could see who was at the door before answering it. But they said Hein became upset about the camera because it showed a portion of his driveway. And he also was angry because they had filed a complaint about him running a business out of his garage, the couple said, adding that Hein frequently would shine a flashlight into the camera lens because he knew they reviewed the surveillance footage on a regular basis.
In April, a sheriff’s sergeant viewed video footage and saw Hein on the couple’s driveway shining the light into the camera. The sergeant also observed the light shining into the camera from what appeared to be the couple’s front porch, but he was unable to confirm that because the light was too bright.
At the time, Hein told the sergeant “he meant no harm by it” and was looking for something that he had dropped.” But he wasn’t able to provide an explanation for shining the light directly at the camera lens, the report says.
Eventually, the issue escalated to the point where Hein would back his vehicle onto his driveway and when the couple was home, he’d place a mirror on the trunk so that he could see inside their garage while he was working, the report says.
Hein then parked his golf cart in front of his garage, backing it up the edge of the couple’s property. Whenever they were home, he would let one of two concealed nooses dangle from his golf cart roof in their sight, the report says.
Hein also placed a sign on his porch with two guns crossing each other that read: “I do not call 911. I use Smith and Wesson.” And the couple said they reviewed video footage that showed him “point a long narrow object at the camera, acting as if it were a gun” and pretending to pull the trigger, the report says, adding that they are in fear for their lives and their well-being.
Hein was served a cease-and-desist letter from the management of the community on Aug. 28, which ordered him to stop all of these activities. He promised to no longer speak to or acknowledge the couple. But he didn’t make any mention of whether he’d dispose of the nooses, the report says.
A few days later, Hein backed his golf cart onto the driveway and again displayed the noose when he knew the couple was home. But the following day, when he knew they weren’t at the residence, he didn’t let the noose dangle from the golf cart roof, the report says.
The couple told deputies that the incidents “are causing emotional stress to them” and they feel that Hein’s actions “are threatening and could cause harm to them.”
Before Hein was taken into custody, deputies made contact with his wife, who said he told her he had a friend make the nooses so that he may “piss off” the couple, the report says.
Hein was taken into custody Wednesday and booked into the Marion County Jail at 4:55 p.m. He was released on $10,000 bond early Friday morning and is due to appear in a Marion County courtroom on Oct. 9 at 9 a.m. to answer to the charge of aggravated stalking.