Superglue vandal: Clearwater HOA board members allegedly targeted over fee increase

Pinellas County

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Four Horizon House Homeowners Association board members were victims of vandalism on Thanksgiving, Superglued inside their Clearwater homes.

According to Clearwater police, the four members were the only victims out of 126 units in the building located on Island Way.

Two members’ homes were hit with glue a second time on Sunday.

One of the victims is HOA President Edward Schmoll. He was headed out of his apartment at 6:30 a.m. to attend a Turkey Trot when he discovered the mess.

“Noticed that there was a strange substance on my hands and didn’t realize until after I had gone in and left. So I wasn’t sure where it came from,” he told 8 On Your Side. “Noticed the police were there and then saw my cellphone was blowing up with text messages whose apartments had been Superglued – their locks had been Superglued shut. Some were able to open their doors, other people had a problem.”

The Superglue mess comes after discussions between residents and the board regarding fee increases to make repairs on the building and build up reserve money.

Schmoll said there has not been an increase in eight years. The building needs to be painted and sealed and window leaks need to be fixed.

“It’s like giving news, as if a doctor was saying about something that you have, that if you don’t take care of it now, it’s going to get worse. That’s basically the news that we gave the shareholders, that we had special experts from the outside,” Schmoll said.

He told us most residents understood and just wanted to know if they could pay monthly, or all at once.

Besides seemingly one person, who decided to take things criminal, he said.

Security will now be part of the building assessment, and those fees could rise for residents even more because of it.

“And now we’re having to deal with, when talking law enforcement, about beefing up our security and having security cameras,” Schmoll explained.

Schmoll and his fellow board members are still slightly in shock.

“Honestly, Horizon House is a wonderful place to live. We have a wonderful group of neighbors. We’re right overlooking beautiful Clearwater Beach, so it certainly was unexpected and surprisingly onetime thing. I haven’t seen anything like this happen before,” he said.

While the exact amount of increases haven’t been determined, the HOA will separate it as a onetime assessment to be paid over a period of time, and monthly fees would only go up a small amount.

Clearwater police are continuing to search for the person or people who did this, who could face charges of criminal mischief.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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