by: Mark Barber Updated:
BELMONT, N.C. - An entire community is in fear over a man they've labeled as a community menace.
People who live and work near South Point Road in Belmont said he terrorizes drivers and records videos of teenagers that he posts on YouTube.
Anxious neighbors worry the tense situation is escalating.
Within the past month, two firefighters said they were driving to work when their cars were shot by a high-powered pellet gun.
A picture from one of those firefighters shows the shattered glass where he said the shot pierced his windshield.
Even though police know the identity of the man accused of shooting at firefighters, officers said they can't arrest him.
"I was getting my mail one night, and I heard a shot and it zinged right past me!" said a neighbor who doesn't want to be identified because he's worried he'll be the next target.
He said his neighbor hides in a bus parked in his front yard, which is where he shoots at drivers and records them.
Channel 9 isn't naming the man or identifying the area where he lives because he isn't facing any charges right now.
The man has a YouTube channel with hundreds of videos. Some of them show him on the road, confronting other drivers when he thinks they've been tailgating him.
Channel 9 wanted to reach out to the man to get his side of the story, but police officials advised us not to.
Officers said even when they approach him, it's not an easy task because he's often armed and upset.
Police officials believe he's acting aggressively because some drivers learned he was recording them, so they started squealing tires and honking to aggravate him.
Neighbors think he uses that as an excuse to terrorize the rest of them.
"He shot at me one night when I was getting my mail. I called the police and they came and they did absolutely nothing," said the neighbor, who asked not to be identified.
Channel 9's Mark Barber asked Gaston County police, "Why is he facing no charges? Why is he still allowed to walk free?"
Captain Eric Johnson responded, "As far as those incidents that you have spoken of, we have no documentation."
Even though residents told Channel 9 they have filed police reports, officers said they need two eyewitnesses to charge him.
Neighbors are watching the road or checking their mail, and while they said they don't see him firing the gunshots, they hear them and feel them whiz by.
Frustrated residents worry nothing will change unless someone gets hurt. They said they're holding their breath, hoping that doesn't happen.
Police said they have been called to the man's house 12 times this year.
In the past month, five drivers have reported that their vehicles were shot.
Officers told Channel 9 the man was charged in a road rage case in York County sometime within the past five years.
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