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A 47-year-old Caledonia man is facing disorderly conduct charges after police say he returned to his former home to cut the grass and remove tree branches in the middle of the night to annoy his former neighbors.

John Poehls was charged Friday in Racine County Circuit Court with a single count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct. If convicted, he faces up to 90 days in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint, Racine police were called at 1:24 a.m. Friday to a home in the 2700 block of Westwood Drive for a report of a man cutting down tree branches in the yard of the home next door. When officers arrived, they were told by the man – later identified as Poehls – that he used to live in the home, but it had been sold. Witnesses said Poehls had been at the home multiple times earlier that day – Thursday – to cut the grass and was playing loud music from his truck while parked in the driveway.

Police say they had been called to the residence Thursday, and they confronted Poehls who said he was there to annoy his former neighbors, but he was finished doing that and would be leaving.

Witnesses say, though, that Poehls did not quit and that he was cutting the grass, sometimes going over the same sections over and over again, the complaint reads. When neighbors heard the saw going at 1:30 a.m., they went outside to confront Poehls and the told him they were calling police. Poehls may also have changed the locks of the home because when the new owners tried to gain entrance with the realtors, they could not get into the home.

Officers say Poehls was located in the parking lot at his residence on Kennedy Drive, and he admitted to using a handsaw so it would be noisy. He told police he was cutting the grass and the tree branches to be annoying to his neighbors who, he said, had caused him a lot of trouble over a period of 45 years.

Poehls was assigned a $1,000 signature bond at his initial appearance and ordered to not have any contact with anyone at his old address. His next court date is a pre-trial conference June 12.

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