RED DEER – Scott Street is, by all accounts, a sleepy little stretch of Red Deer, but there’s an exception. The residents have named one neighbour “Bitter Bob.”
“He’s just an angry, mean, mean-spirited, uncooperative, stubborn, malicious, cowardly man,” Keith Carriere said of Robert (“Bob”) Charlton.
Carriere has lived in the area for 12 years.
“He’s just the neighbour from hell,” he said.
“We’ve had so many negative interactions, I can’t even describe how many there would be,” Reinhard Timmermann said.
Timmermann has lived in the neighbourhood for 20 years. He says Bob used to scare his children, who are now adults.
“They just grew to fear him.”
Carriere says Bob swung at him with his cane while he was riding by on his motorcycle.
“He stepped out and took a swipe at me,” he recalls. “I had to take evasive action on my motorcycle.”
Amanda Walsh has had problems ever since she moved in next door a year-and-a-half ago.
“[He] would scream profanities at the dog and us over the fence – to the point where we couldn’t even sit in the backyard in our new house, our first house. One night we had to put tarps up because he stood on his step and stared at us over the fence.”
What neighbours say bothers them most is that Bob calls bylaw officers all the time. They’ve all been handed tickets, though many of them were later thrown out.
“It’s hard to believe,” Carriere said.
Four neighbours testified against Bob in court before he was convicted of bullying. The process is a unique part of Red Deer’s Community Standards Bylaw.
Under the bylaw, which is just under 10 years old, “bullying” is defined as “verbal or physical abuse, threats, taunts, teasing, name calling or repeated abusive communication, direct or through any medium whatsoever.”
The section of the bylaw prohibits anyone from bullying another in any public place or encouraging or participating in that bullying. It says: “any person who contravenes sections 25 (1) (a) or 25 (1) (b) is guilty of an offence.”
Scroll down to read the full Community Standards Bylaw.
A spokesperson for the city said bullying tickets have been handed out before and paid but this is the first time one has gone to court.
In court, the judge said accusations of Charlton yelling at children on bikes are what led to him being fined.
Charlton denies the allegations and says the stories are all made up.
“There’s some nice people in here but, in the last few years, there have been a bunch of goons coming on to this street and they’re just out to get me,” Charlton said.
“They’re just out to aggravate me. …”
“I told my case in court but the judge wouldn’t listen to me. He never gave me a chance to speak and the bylaw officer made erroneous statements that are not true.”
He was ordered to pay a $500 fine.
However, at 78 years old, Charlton doesn’t think it will change his ways.
“These people, they’re just dead against me because they’re idiots,” he said.
With files from Emily Mertz, Global News
Editor’s Note: This story, originally published April 15, 2016, was amended April 29, 2016, to clarify one statement, which also appears in the video. Neighbours interviewed by Global Edmonton said that all bylaw tickets handed out as a result of complaints made by Mr. Charlton were later withdrawn. However, that could not be confirmed. The video was amended May 12, 2016, to remove added music and effects. The story was again amended May 27, 2016, to remove a phrase that was mistakenly attributed to Mr. Charlton.
Red Deer Community Standards Bylaw