Person purposely cut down tree that damaged homes, power lines, police say

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GASTONIA, N.C. — Gastonia Police are attempting to identify the suspect responsible for cutting down a tree, which crashed into a home and snapped power lines.

Neighbors said the tree came down on Holland Avenue just before 7 a.m. Tuesday, damaging two homes while causing others to lose power.

The tree’s trunk destroyed a section of one house while the tree’s limbs scraped a section of siding off Mark Heath’s house. 

Heath blamed a former neighbor for cutting down the tree as an act of revenge. He testified in court against his former neighbor after Heath said the man broke into his house multiple times.

“Wow, somebody’s pretty angry or hateful,” Heath recalled thinking when he first saw the damage. 

According to a police report, detectives have a person of interest, which matches the name Heath gave, but no criminal charges have been filed.

Both the report and neighbors confirm an electric chainsaw was found near where the tree was cut.

Besides the report, Gastonia Police wouldn’t comment on the case, saying only that an investigation is underway.