Crown Point Parkway Neighbors Face Off Over Fireworks, Christmas Display

No decision yet in court case


Two next-door neighbors on Crown Point Parkway argued their cases in Berea Municipal Court Wednesday over a Christmas display and a lighting ceremony with fireworks on the cul-de-sac street.

Kevin Roberts is seeking damages and asking that the backyard fireworks show be shut down permanently.

"I want to send a clear message that this (fireworks display) is illegal and never to do it again," Roberts said.

Dan Hoag, who organizes the lighting display and sets off the fireworks in his yard, said the lawsuit is the result of a "vendetta" Roberts has against his neighbors.

"Regardless of the fireworks, we're not going to stop decorating," Hoag said.

Magistrate Lawrence G. Sheehe Jr., who heard the case in Small Claims Court, did not issue a ruling on Wednesday, saying he would review the facts and render a decision soon.

"Clearly, this (dispute) hurt," he told both men. "It hurt everyone involved."

Crown Point Parkway has been featured in local and national news for its street-long lighting display. The lights and yard decorations draw thousands of visitors to the cul-de-sac each holiday season.

Hoag, the main organizer of the display for the last 20 years, launches the season with a lighting ceremony, including a seven-minute fireworks show, on Thanksgiving evening.

Between 600 and 800 people gather on the street, which is blocked off with permission from Strongsville officials.

Roberts is seeking $3,000 from Hoag, alleging the fireworks have damaged his property and that his sister, Cheryl, was harassed and heckled when she tried to drive through the crowd two years ago.

"I went as slow as possible . . . through the crowd," Cheryl Roberts testified. "People were swearing at me, banging on my car." 

The ordeal upset her and her dog, she said.

Kevin Roberts also said he got an estimate of $305 from his insurance company to clean debris from the fireworks from his gutters, roof, lawn and car.

And he said a permit to discharge fireworks was never issued.

Hoag argued that Cheryl Roberts "deliberately" drove through the crowd of people, and neighbor Dan Paliwoda testified that he witnessed no heckling.

"I assisted in her trying to get out (of the driveway)," Paliwoda said.

Roberts' other sister, Donna Medlin, testified on Hoag's behalf, saying her brother vowed to live in the Crown Point Parkway house, which originally belonged to their father, for the rest of his life "just so he can make the neighbors' lives as miserable as possible."

Kevin Roberts acknowledged that is true.

"They made my father's life miserable. I want it to stop, or his (Hoag's) life, I want to be miserable too," Roberts said.

Hoag said he and Roberts used to be friends, and that Roberts helped wire the street for the lighting display.

But Roberts' late father apparently began to dislike the lights and the crowds, to the point he was charged with cutting Hoag's electrical wires in about 2002. 

Hoag said the late Mayor Walter Ehrnfelt finally called in the elder Roberts and warned him he would be cited if he didn't stop calling police to report noise, crowds and other issues on the street.

Hoag said he got verbal permission from Mayor Tom Perciak on Nov. 15 to set off fireworks this past Thanksgiving.  

And he said he would have gladly cleaned up debris from Roberts' yard if he'd known it was a problem.

"I'd write him a check tomorrow for $300," Hoag told the magistrate. "There's no reason to go through all this."

Sheehe said he thinks it is "wonderful" that the residents on the street take donations from visitors and give them to a local charity or needy family, including more than $4,000 last month to the family of a Parma boy fighting a brain tumor.

He said he would review the testmony and evidence both men entered and make a decision soon.

Kenneth J. Roberts February 05, 2013 at 07:13 PM
You are another one that has a great perspective on all of this. You can't get any closer to the truth in what you just stated. Ralph had to live with that (NUT) 24/7. It would make me act like that too. How would anyone like to be bedridden and have that person (OMG) taking care of him? May Ralph rest in peace now.
faith February 05, 2013 at 07:18 PM
No one on the street has to worry about recording, as I have stated before, Kevin has two video cameras set up in his windows. Everyone should be sure to wave and smile as you pass his house because you as well as your children are being video taped as well. The disturbed part of it is that he normally only makes the videos he has 'adapted' public. He recently tried to pass a video off to one of our local t.v. stations and evidently forgot he left his comments on it. It is beyond disturbing. The television station laughed and handed it to Dan Hoag stating, "we don't want this trash". And btw Steve, you evidently have no place to speak of 'good christian people'. You have done nothing on here but refer to Hitler and use 'not so witty' names to describe myself and my neighbors. Since everyone clearly knows who I am why not post your full/real name? Or are you ashamed of your previous, albeit false comments?
Otis February 05, 2013 at 07:42 PM
WOW!!!!!!!Kevin ooooops I mean Paul/Steve OPEN MOUTH INSERT FOOT I recall a previous post here stating someone had pictures of Kevin Roberts years ago participating in the LIGHTING OF THE FIREWORKS DISPLAY. Was KEVIN ROBERTS not participating in an ILLEGAL ACTIVITY??? Where was KEVIN ROBERTS' concern for peoples SAFETY and the LAW back then???? Hmmmm a little hypocritical don't you think??? Can you say V-E-N-D-E-T-T-A!!!! Shame on you Kevin Roberts. A LITTLE EGG ON YOUR FACE MAYBE??
Otis February 05, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Emily, That could very well be true, but maybe Kevin didn't "rub off" but rather pushed his own agenda on his father.
Otis February 05, 2013 at 08:17 PM
Faith, Are you using 'adapted' as a replacement word for edited? If so, I find it MORONIC to think that a judge/magistrate would use something EDITED as evidence.
Kenneth J. Roberts February 05, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Otis, Now-Now be nice, We all have the choice to change our minds in later life. Tt is hypocritical but most people doing this sort of thing do have a vendetta against others. The question is, what is the next vendetta going to be? I feel for the people living on Crown Point Pkwy., because this nut is not finished.
Otis February 05, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Careful Elmer. Even if Mr Roberts thinks you are "as dumb as a box of rocks", you just might be his next vendetta. Don't worry I think you are funny!
Kenneth J. Roberts February 05, 2013 at 10:33 PM
Thanks Otis, I'll deal with the NUT if it happens....lol
Kenneth J. Roberts February 05, 2013 at 10:41 PM
Otis, I'll even go to the Supreme Court if I have to.... lol
Steve February 06, 2013 at 03:29 AM
Faith, I don't know who you are, just that you would love to sit and talk to me and find out all my personal info. This is very sweet but I am a married man. Besides with all your talk of throwing eggs at Jews, I don't think your my type.
Marian February 06, 2013 at 06:37 AM
Thank you for informative reply, Terry B.
Faith February 06, 2013 at 01:03 PM
Aww, 'Steve' that is sooo cute that you imagine I would want to meet you for anything but to provide the facts. And one fact still remains, you don't have the guts to let people know who you are. Which, in turn, leads me to believe you must be Kevin. No guts no glory "Steve". Another great idea for you would be to try your best to keep these posts in the correct order and not take bits and parts from each to make your own little story. I know it's hard for you "Steve" but with a little help from a professional I am confident you can do it.
James Murphy February 06, 2013 at 01:45 PM
Yes Faith lets put everything back in order this was posted by STEVE about something I never said >>>>>>>>>>>>> Steve 8:52 pm on Friday, February 1, 2013 I hope the police are looking out for this James Murphy (AKA Adolf Hitler) that wants to vandalize houses with eggs
Steve February 07, 2013 at 02:34 AM
Ok fine here is who I really am. My name is Steve I am 5'10" I am a Leo, I like sunsets, long walks in the park and my fireworks on Independence Day. Dislikes: bullies, mobs and corruption. If it is Kevin you think is sooo cute, you can vote for him and Mr. Hoag in the cute couple contest.
tom m February 07, 2013 at 04:20 AM
ok steve even I have to admit your last comment was pretty funny
Chapman Mom February 13, 2013 at 06:22 PM
has the courts ever ruled on this yet ??? I hope all the generous people who put on the display for all of our enjoyment are not harmed by the deeds of one angry human
faith February 13, 2013 at 06:27 PM
No ruling on the case as of 2/13/13. We are still waiting.
Chapman Mom February 13, 2013 at 06:34 PM
thank you !! I feel so sorry for you having to live so close to this man, and after what his own sister testified about him, I think I might be to afraid to come see your beautiful lights again
faith February 13, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Well you are right that this could potentially take a turn for the worse. Especially with this neighbors background. Non of you know the extent of his background. But PLEASE don't let it stop you from seeing the lights. Thanks to the people who visited our street we were able to donate over $4000 to the family of an 11 year old with terminal brain cancer. Unfortunately just over a week ago he lost his battle but the donations possibly lightened the monetary burden his parents are going through.....just a little but at least something.
Otis February 13, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Human???? I don't believe this guy is even human. Just one angry little man. Sooo Pathetic. Mr Roberts, For your's and the entire Strongsville community's sake, PLEASE go see a shrink and get some MEDICATION!!!
Otis February 13, 2013 at 09:18 PM
One day I would like to know this background. I've been coming to see the lights for many years, including last years kick off (my first) and am NOT going to let this NUT JOB stop me. Maybe this year you can put up a sign that says "The Grinch Lives Here" and have an arrow pointing towards Mr Roberts house. Sorry to hear about the little boy's passing. Maybe this year this whole sad affair will bring more people and bolster donations, so more good can be done by the neighborhood's donation. I'm just hoping that fireworks will be part of this years kick off. I think they really made last years FANTASTIC!!!
Otis February 13, 2013 at 09:33 PM
Faith, Awe, my girlfriend figured out the real reason why Mr Roberts has cameras pointing at your house. He secretly likes you! You have an admirer! How cute and heartwarming! (GROSS!) I feel for you.
Otis February 13, 2013 at 10:13 PM
These people got permission from city officials. Hmmm, go figure. Illegal? Evidently not! http://fox8.com/2013/02/12/fireworks-mistaken-for-explosions-in-trumbull/
Otis February 13, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Shhhh, don't tell Kevin Roberts.
Terry B. February 13, 2013 at 10:46 PM
I saw this news story as well. It was made very clear that this fireworks show was put on by an exhibitor licensed by the state fire marshal, with the additional approval of the local fire department. And, it was conducted in the middle of a largely rural area, which certainly was a factor in approval being granted by the local fire department. Big difference in circumstances.
Chapman Mom February 19, 2013 at 05:24 PM
did these two ever go back to court for a decision yet ???
Faith February 19, 2013 at 06:32 PM
There has been no verdict yet.
Otis March 05, 2013 at 01:26 AM
Well it's about time! From Fox 8 News BEREA, Ohio– A judge has dismissed a man’s claim that his neighbor’s fireworks display ruined his Thanksgiving dinner. However, the judge did rule that the neighbor must pay the man cleanup costs from the fireworks debris that fell on his property. Kevin Roberts of Strongsville sued his next door neighbor, Daniel Hoag, after he claims a fireworks display this past Thanksgiving ruined his holiday dinner. The lawsuit claimed fireworks debris fell on Roberts’ home and yard, and a family member suffered emotional distress from the crowds of people blocking the driveway to watch the display. Monday, a judge ordered Hoag to pay just more than $300, plus court costs and interest, to the plaintiff for the cleanup costs. But the judge threw out the claims for emotional distress and spoiling Thanksgiving dinner. Hoag said he has received a tremendous outpouring of support and donations and the money left over after the settlement will be given to charity. I believe the court should pay the interest for taking so long to make it's decision.
Kenneth J. Roberts March 05, 2013 at 03:58 AM
The nut at least deserves a cooked Banquet dinner.
Kenneth J. Roberts March 07, 2013 at 02:43 AM
Make that a turkey dinner at that.


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