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Police: Man Pepper Sprays 75-Year-Old Neighbor After Dog Urinates On His Lawn

EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A Long Island feud turned violent this week when a man sprayed his neighbor in the face with pepper spray.

Nassau County police say 38-year-old David Likhtiger, a musician who lives part-time with his girlfriend in East Meadow, went to his 75-year-old neighbor's home on Chaladay Lane and banged on the door around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

His neighbor, retired school teacher Alan Wharton, told CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff that when he opened his front door, Likhtiger was yelling at him about his dog urinating on his lawn.

"I opened up the door and I said, 'What can I do for you?' Next thing I know he's cursing me out and I said, 'Enough's enough. OK?' I said, 'Please do me a favor go home,'" Wharton told WCBS 880's Sophia Hall.

"Next thing I know he pushes something in my face and sprays something in my face. At that point I just closed the door and ran to the sink because it was burning like crazy," Wharton said.

Wharton admits that he does walk his 8-year-old Labrador, Bailey, several times a day but says there's no reason for violence. He claims that male dogs don't damage grass, Gusoff reported.

"There's nothing wrong with a dog peeing on a lawn, female maybe, because they do burn," Wharton said. "According to the vet male dogs don't burn the grass. It's only the female."

Some neighbors also said male dogs do not damage lawns.

"Female, they burn the grass. Guys, nothing happens," said neighbor Eugene Ciranni.

According to many lawn care experts, female dogs do leave more lawn burn because of they urinate in a more concentrated area.

Likhtiger was arraigned on assault charges at First District Court in Hempstead on Wednesday.

A woman, who asked not to be identified, was in court to support Likhtiger.

"We have had an ongoing issue with him walking his dog off the leash. The dog comes on our property, I'll be standing on my front stoop, and the dog comes up to me and growls at me," the woman said.

But Wharton said of Likhtiger, "Every time he sees us, he yells at us, so my dog reacts to his yelling and barks at him."

Wharton said he's been attacked by Likhtiger before, claiming that this goes back to last summer when he claims Likhtiger threw tomatoes at him and rocks all over his dog, Gusoff reported.

"He attacked me, and he kicked me, and I punched him in the face to defend myself," he said.

If Likhtiger makes his $10,000 bail, he will return to Chaladay Lane but he's been ordered to stay away from Wharton and his dog.

"I am not going to avoid walking the neighborhood, I'm not going to be afraid of my neighborhood," Wharton said.

And no restrictions were placed on where Bailey can relieve himself.

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