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Video: Family presses charges against ‘neighbor from hell’

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    >> hour with a minnesota couple, they say they have endured harassment at the hands of their neighbor for years. and the alleged abuse didn't even stop when the woman was hit with a restraining order . nbc's craig melvin has this story. good morning to you, craig .

    >> reporter: good morning to you. this quiet looking tree lined neighborhood just outside st. paul, it may look picture perfect , but according to the hoffman family behind me, the reality has been far from peaceful. the home videos tell the tale of what kim and greg hoffman say is the ultimate nightmare of a neighbor.

    >> she is definitely the neighbor from hell.

    >> reporter: they moved here 15 years ago, a perfect place to raise their family. they thought. but over the years, the hoffmans have become prisoners in their own backyard as they try to avoid their neighbor directly across the street from their front yard.

    >> started with the obscenities. just really went crazy and started calling me names, swearing at me, very loud. a lot of people in the neighborhood could hear it.

    >> many people say we have a neighbor just like that. i say no, you don't. this is different.

    >> reporter: this month prosecutors filed court documents listing more claims of alleged harassment including verbal tirades aimed at the hoffman 's children.

    >> she likes to intimidate them with different gestures or words.

    >> reporter: in 2011 , prosecutors say christianson plead guilty and served more than a month in jail for felony violation over a restraining order obtained by the hoffmans. prosecutors say in 2010 , she also plead guilty to two misdemeanors. much of the alleged harassment has been aimed at kim hoffman who is a recovering alcoholic.

    >> i've been sober for three years. it's kept me very sober and i think probably because it's bonded our family in a way.

    >> reporter: the hoffman videotape posted one sign posted on her garage door. it reads, i saw mommy kissing a breathalyzer. others say get a life and the guilty talk the loudest.

    >> she followed me at different times in her vehicle. so i feel like i'm under constant surveillance.

    >> reporter: police say they received at least 60 calls complaining about christianson 's behavior towards her neighbors, nearly all of them, police say, from the hoffmans. police confirm they have visited her home more than 40 times in the last two years.

    >> we almost had a life of its own and kept growing and growing and nobody really can put a finger on it. what was the initiator?

    >> reporter: christianson who is 49 works as an executive assistant. neither she nor her attorney would comment for our story though in february she had this to say to a local television station .

    >> i had a psychological evaluation. they said if i were to have been a man that this would not have been happening but because i'm a single female, i have a very good job, i have the biggest house in the neighborhood.

    >> reporter: the xas before the court and christianson is ordered to stay away from her own house as well as the hoffman family.

    >> i would like to say to her, how dare you leave the scars that you left on my daughters? how dare you destroy an entire neighborhood?

    >> reporter: now prosecutors say that christianson will be in court again later this morning for a hearing about whether she violated her parole by allegedly once again disobeying a harassment restraining order . matt?

    >> all right. craig melvin on this for us. thank you

By
TODAY contributor
updated 5/30/2012 10:33:15 AM ET 2012-05-30T14:33:15

Many Americans can share a story about a pesky neighbor. But a White Bear Lake, Minn. family says they can top almost anyone’s horror story.

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Kim and Greg Hoffman live on a quiet, tree-lined cul-de-sac with their young daughters, where just across the street is a woman they call the “neighbor from hell.”

The family has successfully carried out restraining orders against Lori Christensen, 49, whose house sits directly across from their front yard. The Hoffman family said that in an effort to avoid Christensen they have become prisoners in their own backyard. They have accused Christensen of multiple offenses, including aggravated stalking.

Video: Family presses charges against ‘neighbor from hell’ (on this page)

Kim Hoffman told NBC’s Craig Melvin the harassment began with obscenities, and that soon, Christensen “just started calling me names, swearing at me. Very loud. Many people in the neighborhood could hear it.” Her husband Greg said, “Many people say, ‘Oh we've got a neighbor just like that,’ and I say no you don't. This is different.”

Prosecutors filed court documents this month listing even more claims of alleged harassment from Christensen, including “verbal tirades” aimed at the Hoffmans' children. According to Kim Hoffman, her neighbor “likes to intimidate them with different gestures or words.”

In 2011, prosecutors say Christensen pled guilty and served more than a month in jail for a felony violation over a restraining order obtained by the Hoffmans. The year before, Christensen pled guilty to two related misdemeanors.

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Kim Hoffman, a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for three years, said the battle has brought her family closer, though Hoffman’s recovery has apparently been a target for Christensen. A home video taken by the Hoffman family shows a large hand-painted sign Christensen allegedly posted on her garage door that reads, "I saw mommy kissing a breathalyzer.” Other signs have said “Get a life,” and “The guilty talk the loudest.”

Christensen has also allegedly followed Kim Hoffman in her car, which makes Kim feel like she’s “under constant surveillance.”

TODAY
From video taken by the Hoffman family, these are some signs allegedly posted by neighbor Lori Christensen, aimed at them.
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The police are familiar with the feuding neighbors. Local police captain Randy Johnson said of the harassment, “It almost had a life of its own and it kept growing and growing and nobody really could put a finger on what was the initiator.” The police said that they have visited Christensen’s home more than 40 times in the last 2 years. Most visits stemmed from calls made by the Hoffman family.

Christensen, who works as an executive assistant and is a single mother with one daughter, could not be reached for comment by TODAY. She told a local television station earlier this year, “I had a psychological evaluation and they said if I were to have been a man this would not have been happening but because I'm a single female...I have a very good job, I have the biggest house in the neighborhood.”

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Christensen is scheduled in court Wednesday for a hearing on charges she violated her probation by allegedly disobeying a harassment restraining order. District Judge George Stephenson, who oversees the case, ordered Christensen to stay away from her house in a hearing Tuesday. She was allowed to pick up her dogs and some personal items with a police escort. He told her she could not speak to authorities about the Hoffmans — even if their house was on fire. "You will not be the one to call 911 to report it," he said.

Greg Hoffman said Christensen's actions will have a lasting impact. “I'd like to say to her, ‘How dare you leave the scars that you left on my daughters?" he told TODAY. "'How dare you to have destroyed an entire neighborhood?’”

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

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