Electric fence near bus stop causes concern for parents
SANDSTON, VA (WWBT) - An electric fence near a middle school bus stop is causing concern for parents in a Sandston neighborhood who fear their children will get shocked.
The homeowner who lives in the 00 block of E. Berry Street near W. Wilson Way said he put up the fence early Tuesday morning, on the first day of school, after he claims kids have been trespassing on his property.
"We've been warning people for years," Bryan Tucker, the homeowner, said. "We called transportation and they refused to do anything about it. They said it was my responsibility if the kids get hurt on my land and that I need to tell them to get off my land and stay in the street. I'm not in charge of other people's children."
A neighbor said the timing was inappropriate.
"The first day of school, really?" a neighbor said. "C'mon now. It would have been different if it was a few days later or something."
As of 1:45 p.m., Henrico County Public Works Director Steve Yob said Tucker was notified he is in violation of the County code.
"The code says not to erect, construct, place or maintain any bumps, fences ... in a road, a ditch made to drain the road, or an off drain from ditches," Yob said. "Engineers did research and the gentleman's yard starts further off the road from where the fence is. Where that fence was put is clearly county right-of-way."
According to Yob, Tucker told him he would remove the fence Tuesday afternoon. However, it's unknown whether he would move the fence back, or completely take it down.
Concerned neighbors called Henrico County Police at 9:15 a.m. about the fence.
A Henrico County Public Works crew were also called out and could be seen measuring property lines Tuesday morning.
"My daughter walked out and said he's got a fence up," a neighbor said. "Then someone said it was electric and I said 'whoa no!' If something happens to one of those kids they're going to have lot of angry parents."
A woman posted in a Sandston Community Facebook group about the electric fence drawing dozens of comments from the area.
Tucker said he put the fence up to protect his property and keep kids from trampling over his yard, and throwing trash there.
"This morning children were trespassing and vandalizing and nothing was done," Tucker said.
"The lady who lived there before him put a trash can on the street and put a sign that told kids to put the trash in here," a neighbor said.
There are two private property signs posted to a tree in Tucker's front yard that read, "POSTED: Private Property – hunting, fishing, trapping or trespassing for any purpose is strictly forbidden. Violators will be prosecuted."
However, there is no sign attached to the fence that reads it is electric.
"It don't have nothing," said Wayne Milby, a concerned parent. "What about the kids? They don't know that."
"There's a sign over there on the box," Tucker said.
That box is located on the ground nearly 15 yards from the intersection where the bus stop is located.
The box reads "Solar Intellishock", however, does not provide a warning about the fence.
"What if there's a little kid, 2 or 3 years old riding their tricycle and they fall and they get shocked?" a neighbor said. "That's not going to be OK."
Milby said he understands that kids will be kids and this situation has sparked a conversation, but offered an alternative solution besides the electric fence.
"You know, a regular fence," he said.
Someone who violates the code could face a class one misdemeanor. However, Yob said Tucker will likely not face any charges because he, "made a mistake and offered to correct it."
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