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Neighbor's injunction request is turned down

The judge says the man who requested the order was the aggressor in a confrontation with another Village Glen Circle resident.

No one disputes that the long-running feud between Xochitl Frank and one of her neighbors turned violent this month.

But in a surprise twist of events, Frank was deemed the victim Thursday by a judge who admonished neighbor Dennis Harshman for allegedly pushing Frank with both hands in an effort to get Frank off his driveway.

"Quite frankly, I'm appalled at this kind of behavior," a stern Hillsborough Circuit judge Vivian Maye said to Harshman, who left after declining to talk with a reporter.

For years, residents of Village Glen Circle have accused Frank of vandalizing their homes and cars and instigating confrontations that have, on occasion, turned violent.

Hillsborough sheriff's deputies have arrested Frank three times, charging her most recently with throwing a rock through Harshman's pool screen in December. That same day, neighbor Eddie Sfeir said he caught Frank on videotape throwing eggs at houses on the block.

Harshman and Frank appeared in front of the judge Thursday morning in response to a request for an injunction that Harshman had filed against Frank.

Harshman asked for the protection, he told the court, because of the rock incident and because on Jan. 9, Frank rode her bicycle onto his driveway and refused to leave.

Harshman and Frank had a heated argument, Harshman said, and after he pushed the back of Frank's bicycle in an effort to force her to leave, Frank hit him in the chest.

Through her attorney and her son, 16-year-old David Frank, Mrs. Frank painted a completely different picture.

David Frank testified he saw the confrontation between his mother and Harshman and that his mother had only been asking that she and Harshman be friends.

In return, David Frank testified, Harshman yelled obscenities at Mrs. Frank and used both hands to shove Mrs. Frank violently on her back, causing her to fall off her bicycle and injure her legs.

David Frank said he did not attempt to help his mother for fear of making the situation worse.

Instead, David Frank told the judge, he captured two large hand marks on his mother's back with his videotape camera.

After watching the tape, Maye said she could see what looked like handprints on Mrs. Frank's back, and immediately dismissed the request for a permanent injunction.

Upon leaving, Harshman's wife, Cathy Harshman, shook her head, her eyes filling with tears.

"I'm afraid," Mrs. Harshman said. "No one's protecting us."