Darin Harper says he is misunderstood, not a lousy neighbor.
All those unlicensed, broken-down cars he parked up and down Cambridge Avenue in Stratmoor Valley?
Repairing and selling them is just his hobby, not his business.
And when El Paso County Code Enforcement officer Gayle Jackson saw him sitting behind the wheel of his truck, towing a car from the police impound lot after an auction?
He wasn’t driving the truck. He was just moving it to the street so someone else could drive it because Harper is legally blind and 100 percent disabled.
Anyway, he insists he hasn’t worked on a car at home or sold one in “years and years.”
And he only parked his cars, without permission, in a neighbor’s driveway just once. A long time ago.
And all that trash in his yard is his tenant’s stuff and it’s all being taken care of!
Jackson’s response to Harper? R-I-I-I-I-G-H-T!
She’s heard it all before.
Take the car business. At first, Harper told me it never happened. He never fixed cars and sold them from his home. Then it only happened a couple times, years ago. Then he said it was his hobby.
Well, Darin, how do you explain this ad in a used car classified ad section in August? The phone number, which I obscured, led me to Harper.
I’ve seen similar ads in recent weeks.
And what about the photos of you driving? And of cars parked all over Cambridge Avenue and filling the driveway of his house.
Jackson has photos with a half-dozen similar cars parked up and down the street.
Neighbor Kay Gabardi has more photos and even spoke to the neighbor who couldn’t park in his own driveway because of Harper’s cars.
She also have photos of Harper driving his truck, towing cars, in and out of his driveway and leaving police auctions with used cars in tow.
Jackson said she has taken Harper before the El Paso County Commission four times in four years, and even suing him for running an illegal car repair and sales business from home.
Now she’s pursuing a rubbish complaint for all the tires, refrigerator, an old stove and other junk in his yard.