RIDGELAND, MS (WLBT) – It's a war of the roses in Ridgeland Tuesday, where a homeowner says she awoke to find her rose bushes destroyed by a neighbor who pretended to be her while getting the work done.
It's a claim the neighbor denies.
Karen Johnson said Thursday her next door neighbor impersonated her and directed Ridgeland Public Works to chop down her rose bushes.
"Here are the ones they butchered. They even chopped it all the way down to the ground," said Johnson, while pointing to a leveled row of plants near the corner of her property at the intersection of Kelly's Glen and School Street.
Johnson has lived at 315 Kelly's Glen for four years and said she doesn't understand why the woman beside her at 313 would damage her property.
"They told me the neighbor next door to me was out here with the City of Ridgeland cutting my trees, and she was in my yard, and she was snickering and laughing," said the Kelly's Glen Street resident.
Johnson asked residents on the street if they knew what happened to her plants.
Gail Gilbert lives across the street from Johnson and told her what she saw.
"The city workers of Ridgeland were here. She was directing them, even to the point of getting into the yard now to cut, I assume, and even reached down to pull a rose up," said Gilbert.
Johnson said she contacted the city about the 18 cut bushes, and workers replaced eight plants on Monday.
The next door neighbor refused to give her name or talk on camera, but she denied impersonating Johnson saying she did nothing wrong.
She also said the plants were a hazard for someone driving, and she handled everything with the city.
"Look at your google.com, because it shows the view of the property," said Johnson, who pulled up her address and images of the house and yard on the Internet. She pointed out pictures of the roses on her property before they were cut.
She and Gilbert maintain that the plants did not block the view of traffic.
Ridgeland city officials were contacted for comment.
"We have no knowledge of that. It's nothing we had anything to do with. The city took down some roses on a right of way and replaced them," said Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee.
49-year-old Johnson said she filed charges with the Ridgeland Police Department.
"Officers took an information report, but no charges have been filed. A caller contacted the city saying the bushes were obstructing traffic," said Lt. John Neil, with Ridgeland police.
Johnson said she now fears what her neighbor will do next and plans to pursue trespassing and impersonation charges.
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