CUDAHY -- A foul smell in a Cudahy neighborhood led to a contentious summer among neighbors. Police and the health department stepped in and determined one of the properties in the area was to blame.
The sound of flies and a lingering stench filled the air on Dustin Jablonski's balcony in August.
"It's almost gotten to the point where I've been considering moving," Jablonski said.
He hung fly traps along his railing, which can catch up to 20,000 flies each. The traps were nearing capacity.
"The flies are absolutely horrible. I've never experienced anything like this," Jablonski said.
It's a problem Jablonski blamed on his next door neighbor.
"Really started in the middle of his yard here, where he was stacking raw meat and raw chicken," Jablonski said.
Jablonski sent FOX6's Contact 6 a picture of a tub of water with raw chicken floating inside. He said his neighbor long kept a messy yard, but this summer, it got worse.
"Then he began to hoard more food and he started stacking it between our houses," Jablonski said.
At one point, Jablonski's daughter ran into a fly strip. It took acetone and scissors to get it out of her hair.
"Really freaked her out because she does not like bugs at all and she was screaming and shaking and crying," Jablonski said.
He called the health department, which found "food (some in a stage of decay)…on the ground and elevated on tables along with dirty dishes and utensils" which "were attracting numerous flies and raccoons."
The property owner, Richard Krzywkowski, was ordered to clean it up.
When Contact 6 spoke to Krzywkowski in early September, the smell was gone and his yard was mostly cleaned up.
"Everybody believes I'm such a bad guy, that the stink is still there," Krzywkowski said.
The Vietnam veteran admitted to keeping raw chicken outside that went bad.
"I was trying to save it and I lost most of it. I didn't have time. I didn't have room in my refrigerator either," Krzywkowski revealed.
Krzywkowski blamed his neighbor and his fly traps for the smell.
"He put those bags up that really stank and blamed it all on me," Krzywkowski said.
It was a contentious summer for Krzywkowski and his neighbors. Cudahy police received 15 calls involving his property between July 26 and Sept. 5. Five of those calls were for the rotten meat and odors.
Krzywkowski called the police twice to report retribution. Once, a neighbor was cited for bending the antenna on an abandoned car on Krzywkowski's property and then peeing on it.
"I'm not moving," Krzywkowski said.
Krzywkowski said he believes this all could have been avoided.
"All he had to do was just come out and say, 'hey Richard, come out and clean this (expletive) up. I can't stand the smell.' But he didn't," Krzywkowski told Contact 6.
Jablonski said he tried talking to his neighbor before, but this time, he needed to get the city involved.
"It appeared to make a difference speaking with them. I have seen a lot of improvement," Jablonski said.
Jablonski said it did take a number of calls and some persistence to get results. He called the health department, the police, the mayor and his alderman -- all worthwhile people to contact.
Cudahy Mayor John Hohenfeldt issued the following statement on this case:
"City of Cudahy Municipal Departments routinely receive and respond to citizen concerns pertaining to human health hazards and nuisances. Based on the nature of the findings, municipal departments issue a coordinated response. The Cudahy Health Department investigates and follows up on human health hazards and nuisances per City of Cudahy Ordinance (2018). The mission of the Cudahy Health Department is to protect and promote the overall health and wellbeing of the community. Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. In planning a response to citizen concerns, the City of Cudahy is sensitive to the needs of all parties involved."
In these cases, Contact 6 reminds you that documentation is important. Write down who you contacted and when. Take pictures of the problem if you can safely.