Baseballs falling on home 'sounds like a bomb' | News

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Baseballs falling on home 'sounds like a bomb'

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- Imagine having baseballs flying into your home, your yard and almost hitting you. An Atlantic Beach woman said it's happening in her neighborhood and it's been that way for years.

Atlantic Beach is home for Iris Newkirk.

"Oh, I love the neighborhood," she said with a smile.

But from over the fence at Mayport Middle School's baseball field right next door, problems sometimes pop up and fly over.

"For the last 25 years, the balls have been coming in my yard," Newkirk said.

They also hit the roof.

"It sounds like a bomb," she said as she described what the sound was like.

Over the years, there were many baseballs.

"It could be about over 1,000, 2,000 balls," she said.

She began collecting them two years ago.

"It's 60 balls in there and that's a lot and it's going to take just one to hit me or my grandchild," she said. "And it's going to be worse."

She said one of the balls broke the window facing the ball field, which the school fixed.

She and neighbors say there have been close calls.

"A ball almost hit me in the head about a month ago," said Lindy Brooks, who lives next door. "It's getting pretty bad."

"I know something needs to be done," Newkirk said.

First Coast News consumer reporter David Williams asked Newkirk what she wants done.

"Maybe they can put a higher fence. I don't know how they would because the net fence isn't doing anything," Newkirk said.

A Duval County Public Schools spokesperson tells FCN they are aware of the situation. Athletic office personnel routinely walk around fields at all district middle schools to check for safety and compliance, etc. Then they review for any possible issues. If one pops up, it's fixed. Mayport Middle was assessed in October 2012.

It's not known if any adjustments will be made in this case. The district said it stands ready to work with residents.

"We'd like something that we come together and figure out what we going to do now," Newkirk said.

FCN spoke to Board Certified Real Estate Attorney Barry Ansbacher, who said that the homeowner may have a legal case.

If the baseballs are damaging their property and preventing them from reasonable use of their home, a Court might order the school to stop the activity or at least put in safeguards to keep this from continuing to happen.


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