Most of us will experience discomfort at some point in our lives due to the overstepping of another person.
And unfortunately, there’s no telling what will lead to that happening, or what it will take to diffuse the situation.
But one woman found herself experiencing this with her neighborof all people, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor TReXY2K2020 found herself not only returning home to a strange man waiting on her porch, but also him messing with her property.
The Original Poster (OP) then had mixed feelings about her reaction to the man being there after her neighbor supported the man’s actions.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for calling the police on my neighbor’s brother?”
The OP had a decent relationship with her neighbors.
“I’m a 26-year-old woman and just got my own place 8 months ago.”
“I instantly made friends with my neighbor who we’ll call G. He offered to mow my lawn if I helped his pregnant girlfriend with some things during the day while he’s at work.”
“That arrangement was working really well and we had no problems.”
That is, until recently.
“I work an awful shift at the hospital and always check my mail when I come home at 7 am.”
“Yesterday, when I came home I checked my mailbox and noticed it was empty. At first, I thought I had no mail and thought it was no big deal and decided to just go to bed.”
“Then I noticed a man on my porch swing when I approached my door.”
“This scared the absolute h**l out of me because I wasn’t expecting anyone to be there.”
“I asked him what he was doing on my porch and he told me he was G’s brother, S. I told him he needed to leave because he was on my property and he told me that G gave him permission to be there.”
“I told him that I’m the owner of the house and that he most certainly was not welcome and needed to leave.”
“He stood up and told me I wasn’t being neighborly and that G said I was much nicer.”
“I noticed some of my mail on the swing and instantly got p**sed. I could see that it had been opened, taken out of the envelopes, and then shoved back in.”
The OP decided to call the police.
“I went into my house and locked the door, then called the police. The entire time S stayed on my porch and even sat back down on my swing.”
“An officer showed up and I filled him in on what was going on.”
“This is when G and his girlfriend came outside and asked what was going on. I told him that his brother was trespassing on my property and had gone through my mail.”
“S tried telling everyone that he thought the mail was his and that he thought my property was vacant (it’s very obviously not).”
“The officer asked me if I wanted to press charges and I told him I wouldn’t this time, but if I caught S anywhere near my home again, I would.”
The OP’s neighbor, G, was furious.
“When the officer left, G laid into me about how he thought we were friends and that people were going to think differently of him because the police were here.”
“He stormed off with S, and his girlfriend told me that S has Autism and probably wasn’t aware of what he was doing. I told her that what he did was inexcusable and that he knew what he was doing when he was opening my mail.”
“Later on, G’s girlfriend texted me and told me that G wouldn’t be mowing my lawn anymore. I didn’t text her back because I just couldn’t believe what had happened.”
“When I told my friends about what happened, a few of them told me I was an a**hole for calling the cops on an Autistic man and that I probably put him through a lot of mental strain by calling the police.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some pointed out an autism diagnosis didn’t excuse S’s behavior.
“Autistic person here. If somebody asked me not to sit on their property, I would move. I also know opening somebody else’s mail is illegal.”
“I don’t know why your neighbor told him it was okay to sit on your porch instead of somewhere on his own property. I think you handled it well. NTA.” – DrWhoop87
“It doesn’t matter if he is autistic or not. Autism isn’t just people behaving in weird ways for no reason. It’s a way of info processing and it has nothing to do with refusing to leave one’s property and going through their mail.”
“That’s behavior that isn’t tied to any neurotype, just individuals.” – SuperMuffin
“I am Autistic, and it’s pretty annoying how many (Mostly male) autistic people seem to think that saying they are autistic is a free pass to act in unacceptable ways.”
“At a music festival, a guy kept grabbing women, and when people yelled at him, he’d go *I can’t help it, I have Autism*”
“That’s the day I learned exactly how many Neurodiverse folk were at that fest, because I yelled at him, and then about 9 other people joined me, all telling him that being Autistic doesn’t mean that.”
“He was escorted from the property, banned, and not refunded.”
“Being Autistic is not a *get away with being a d**k* free card.” – Simply_Toast
The OP shared an update, which she received from her neighbor.
“I saw that G had texted me earlier during my lunch break to fill me in on some things.”
“He said his brother has UNDIAGNOSED Autism.”
“They believe he has it because ‘he can appear awkward and has done some questionable things, especially during his school days.'”
“Nothing specific he did indicated that he had Autism but like I said in one of my replies, I didn’t stick around him long enough to find out.”
“However, even if Autism is what S has, I wouldn’t doubt that he does have some form of mental illness.”
“Apparently, G did not give his brother permission to come onto my property, but did tell him about how we go to each other’s houses to help each other, and still has no idea why S was going through my mail. He thinks S was afraid of getting in trouble and lied about being allowed over.”
“If G had told me about S before this happening, I would’ve been okay with him sitting on my porch swing.”
“The reason I was scared and felt the need to call the police is because I’m a very small woman and have had trouble with men not taking no for an answer in the past, and I didn’t want to have another experience.”
“I haven’t replied to G yet, but I am going to let him know that I will not be needing him to mow my lawn any longer. I’m also going to be installing a ring camera and getting a PO Box to prevent this from happening again.”
“I apologize if this little update is disorganized. I’m an ER nurse and my brain is in scrambles tonight.”
Fellow Redditors didn’t like the “undiagnosed autism” and wondered if it was a cover-up.
“This guy isn’t even diagnosed with autism. They THINK he has it. Could it be that he is really autistic? Sure. Could it be that he uses it as a false excuse to trample on other people’s boundaries while not actually being autistic? Also possible.”
“NTA. OP did the right thing.” – gwynhiblaidd
“He knew enough to lie about why he was there and stay there and lie again when the cops came. Sorry but I don’t think his autism was the issue.” – Chance-Ad-9952
“They want an excuse for weird antisocial behavior from an adult that isn’t ‘he is creeping on people and we need to stop him’. They don’t want a solution.” – CopperPegasus
The OP was able to update again, confirming the subReddit’s suspicions.
“When I got home from work this morning, my neighbor across the street came over to talk to me about a few things. He’s been in the neighborhood for 30 years and said that G’s uncle is the former occupant of their house. The two were good friends and he learned a lot about the two boys through him.”
“He told me that I should’ve went through with pressing charges because S has had issues in the past with harassing women and that the people who owned the house before me moved because of it.”
“Also, S most definitely does NOT have Autism or any form of mental illness. He and his brother have been heard laughing about using the excuse to avoid getting into trouble and have been getting away with it since their teens.”
“S does only visit his brother for a few months out of the year so I’m not too worried about things, but this has completely changed my relationship with G.”
“This has been an extremely intense lesson for me and I will be keeping my guard up around all of them.”
This is one of those instances where trusting your gut is definitely the way to go. The subReddit could not have been more correct about what they thought was going on.
Fortunately for the OP, she came out of the situation safely.