Given a lackluster response by the Coos County District Attorney to a crime committed against me by a disturbed neighbor, Thomas Konomos, I am compelled to document some details here for my own protection. At the same time, it is important for the county to know how things appear to work or not work at the DA’s office.
As I have written previously, the neighbor, Konomos has been problematic for more than a decade. To avoid any contact, I made changes in my own habits. For example, I almost never eat at local restaurants, I exercise my pets well outside of the city and do the bulk of my shopping in Coos Bay.
Another adjustment I made was to install security cameras. One of the ways this man harasses me is by reporting me to the police department, at least half a dozen times. None of these complaints have ever resulted in a fine but I still had to take my time to deal with it in court. The video would help prove that his complaints are frivolous and unreasonable and to that end they have proven quite useful.
This strategy was paying off and I would go weeks and months without setting eyes on Konomos. Unfortunately, he began turning his attention towards my family, including one of my sons who was staying with me temporarily after I had hip surgery.
My personal view is this neighbor’s behavior is very much like a stalker. One of the identifying features of a stalker is that they begin to target family members. Konomos attempted to have my son charged with menacing which I documented earlier on the blog. The cameras were very useful in this matter.
Special note: The earlier post focused on the conduct of Coquille PD Sargent Doug Miller. While I still maintain my opinion of that unfortunate encounter it would not be fair to not mention I have since had contact with Miller on an unrelated matter and he proved himself to be polite, professional, helpful, and amenable to work with.
Despite all my efforts to avoid my neighbor in August, apparently fueled by alcohol, near midnight Konomos walked from his home and did almost $1,000 worth of damage by destroying LED lighting installed around the base of my house.
The cameras alerted me to his presence, and I called 911. Coquille PD Officer Jessica Pierce attended, and I replayed a couple of the video clips but at that time didn’t realize the damage he had done until the following morning. Officer Pierce informed Konomos he was trespassed off my property and I went back to bed.
The next morning, I reviewed the video in more detail and saw him walking onto my property with bolt cutters which he used to destroy the lighting. Video also revealed that after Pierce left, Konomos came back to my home never any closer than the sidewalk but appeared to be casing my house. He was waving his arms trying to determine where I had motion activated lights. He did this from approximately Midnight until 2:45 AM. During this time period he cackled hysterically. He made foul comments.
“Too bad bitch”
“Mary is just going to have to be in the dark.”
After photographing the damage, I forwarded the pics to Pierce and a few days later she arrested him for Criminal Mischief II and Criminal Trespass II, where he was booked and immediately released.
Immediately I applied for and was granted a temporary stalking protective order. During the recorded hearing to make the order pemanent, Konomos admits to the damage and even pretends to apologize. Unfortunately, I was unable to make the order permanent because Konomos had never threatened me with physical harm. Nonetheless, the judge did state if he presided over the trial he would impose a no-contact order.
The DA’s office was notified that there was a recorded admission in addition to the video evidence. Weeks pass with no word on the case so I emailed District Attorney Paul Frasier to inquire if this is normal. He informs me that he is short staffed, having only four deputies compared to the seven for which he is budgeted and that some of these positions have been open for more than a year. So yes, it may take some time to settle this case.
My case was turned over to Bennett Wahl with whom I had one brief conversation explaining there was a recorded admission obtained during my protective order hearing and was available at the courthouse.
Last week I learned the office had finally charged Konomos. Despite having ample evidence and in a move that is expedient for them and an obvious gift to the perpetrator but clear statement that the victim is not important reduced the charge to a violation. Yes, I can get restitution but am unable to obtain a no-contact order. My email expressing my dismay and requesting they treat this crime with the seriousness it deserves also hasn’t warranted the courtesy of a reply. So much for the victims in Coos County!
As I have stated previously, I believe my neighbor’s obsession and behavior is escalating and some minor incidents within the last few weeks lead me to believe he is incapable of changing his behavior. That said, he did abide by Pierce’s warning to stay off my property even if he couldn’t stop himself from staring at my home from the street and sidewalk for almost three hours. A no-contact order would have been a deterrent, at least for a while.
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