SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Sacramento man who was arrested for allegedly tormenting his neighbors for years seems to be at it again.  Joe Ongaro put up a swastika flag in  his window to stop renters from moving in next door, and is now accused of coming up with a new tactic.

Russell Nickell is living a nightmare that he says his neighbor is not only behind, but won’t put an end to.

“He thinks it’s cool, he’ll just keep doing it,” says Nickell.

For years, Joseph Ongaro has been accused of harassing Russell’s daughter and her family before they moved out; allegedly poisoning their dog, pouring acid on their truck and then ripping out their surveillance cameras.  Then in January when the family put the home up for rent, up went a swastika flag in Ongaro’s window.

“They couldn’t rent it, they’re trying to sell it now, and he’s trying to prevent the sale of the home,” says Nickell.

Just one month after Ongaro’s arrest for vandalism and violating a restraining order the family filed, a delivery truck stopped in front of Russell’s home and dumped two mounds of rocks.

“I just saw Joe come out and thought ‘Oh no’,” said Nickell.

Nickell says Ongaro tied the delivery with a bow, using two trash bins and a piece of caution tape.

Ongaro wasn’t home when CBS13 cameras tried to contact him, but he did pick up his phone and said that he had nowhere else to put his stack of sediment, and plans to move it in a few days.

“He should get a life and get a job and go to work,” says Nickell.

Nickell says potential buyers are stopping by to check out his daughter’s Midtown abode, and he now hopes the beauty of the home can overshadow Ongaro’s ugly behavior.

“From the time he gets up I think until he goes to bed, he’s thinking of something he can do to prevent the sale of the home,” says Nickel.

Comments (40)
  1. Rusty says:

    As in sports, the best defense is a good offense. HINT HINT.

  2. Place blame where it's deserved says:

    Steve E suggests the family is making up these allegations. Really? You seriously think two professionals, trying to raise a family and improve their lot in life, have the time to fabricate allegations of harassment just to cover their losses?
    Here’s the back story: The family was renovating the house 5 years ago. Ongaro admits to letting the contractors use his property to access parts of the house/yard being renovated. According to Ongaro, items were stolen from his yard and the contractors verbally abused him. He also took it upon himself to criticize the contractor’s work and became angry when the owners asked him to not interfere.
    So, instead of going after the contractors, this guy targets the family who is paying thousands of dollars to improve the value of their home and, coincidentally, his as well. He denies throwing blocks of dark chocolate in their yard to poison the family dog, dumping a corrosive liquid on the hood of the family truck, or shooting BBs into the yard while the daughter was playing there. After the family filed a civil harassment suit, they installed security cameras to protect their investment. Ongaro is alleged to have trespassed and torn them down, because he took issue with security cameras “pointing at his yard.” In addition, he is alleged to have repeatedly turned off the water the house, in particular, soon after the family welcomed their second child and while the wife was home caring for her baby. Who does that? Poisoning a dog? Shooting in the vicinity of a child? Tormenting a new mother and baby?
    In his defense, Ongaro denies ever using offensive language or threatening anyone. Curious that he never denied the vandalism or attempts to poison the family pet. A judge felt there was enough evidence against Ongaro to issue a restraining order, which Ongaro violated and was arrested by SacPD, for a misdemeanor. So, Steve E: Are we to think that this family illegally influenced the authorities AND a judge, just to make up their losses?

  3. JAM says:

    Flying a swastika? The guy must belong to the Tea Party.

    1. Snarf says:

      LOL…that’s pretty funny nimrod. Actually most of the swastikas ever spotted at a tea party rally, have been exposed as belonging to a flaming lib:

  4. Don says:

    I think it all a big scam to get the house shown on TV, you can get that kind of exposure for a house sale!

  5. HooDatIS? says:


  6. Lee Chen says:

    They want exposure on TV for their house? Who is going to buy this house and live next to a neighbor from hell? Only someone like a Hell’s Angel who could kick the the guys a–. No one wants that kind of neighbor

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