A retired New York City Police officer living in Florida does not plan on budging to demands made by his homeowners' association, who have given him 10 days to take down a 9/11 commemorative flag or face fines and possible legal action. Local 10 reports on Richard Wentz, the retired NYPD with cancer who refuses to take down his flag which he sees as a commemoration but the Fairways at Heron Bay association sees as a detraction from the "aesthetic harmony" of the surrounding properties:
"The commemorative flag lists the names of everyone who died on Sept. 11, 2001, and is a replica of the ones placed in Battery Park during the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
'When I received the letter, I actually stood out in front of the house yelling in anger about it,' Wentz said.
Wentz, a retired New York City police officer, said he ran into the Tower 1 and started pulling out people before the building collapsed. Wentz said he lost 43 friends and colleagues that day. The inside of his home is a shrine to the friends he lost.
Wentz now has cancer, he said, from breathing in all the particles during the cleanup of Ground Zero.
The letter from the Fairways at Heron Bay association said the flag detracts from the aesthetic harmony of the surrounding properties.He said he was confronted by Patricia Favata, president of the Board of Directors.
'She pushed the issue and said, 'Do we really need to get lawyers involved?' Her demeanor got very nasty,'Wentz said. "
The association claims that they have received complaints, and that the rules say that there can only be one flag per home. Still, several neighbors who spoke with Local 10 last week did not agree with the association's actions, and were disgusted to hear of their treatment to the 9/11 first responder.
Wentz spoke about the matter on Fox & Friends Sunday, and his stance against the homeowner's association:
Wentz said Sunday that he agrees we need to follow rules and laws, but equates his situation to drivers asking for a "break" when pulled over by a police officer for a traffic violation.
"Everyday laws are broken. Laws are bent."
Wentz does not plan on complying with his association's request to remove the flag by this Monday.