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Man Who Tormented Neighbor With Swastika Flag Pleads No Contest

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Sacramento man who was arrested for tormenting his neighbors for years has pleaded no contest to four counts of violating a civil harassment order.

Joseph Ongaro pleaded guilty to charges that he harassed neighbors for five years, even after they obtained a restraining order against him.

Ongaro allegedly poisoned the the family's dog, poured acid on their truck and then ripped out their surveillance cameras. Then, after the family put the home up for rent in November 2010, up went a swastika flag in Ongaro's window. He admitted he did it to keep people from renting the home.

Under the plea agreement, Ongaro will be sentenced to 180 days in jail and complete "Life Skill and Choices" classes. He is also prohibited from contacting the neighbors or posting anything online relating to them. He also isn't allowed to post flags, signs or messages in the front or side of his home. He was also ordered to pay the neighbors for the damage of their property.

The victims were at the hearing and described the financial and emotional toll that Ongaro inflicted on them over the years.

"No family should be subjected to this type of harassment. Today's sentence provides justice for the victims in this case who were forced out of their home and lived in fear of further harassment by the defendant," said Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Maxwell.

The swastika flag that had been hanging in Ongaro's window has been destroyed.

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