Fake Testicles Lawn Ornament Feud Update — Bill Draper Responds [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]
Late last week, we told you about an ongoing neighbor feud in Tonawanda that intensified earlier this month over a lawn statue shaped like fake testicles. The original report, as found in the Tonawanda News, left many questions unanswered, like my phone call to the Draper house that morning.
Lucky for me, Bill Draper -- husband of Shirley, the woman named as the displayer of the lawn ornament -- called this afternoon. The original reporting, he said, didn't give the full story, and he wants his and his wife's side told.
First things first: Shirley Draper did not choose to display the fake testicles.
"Shirley didn't hang them up. I put them up," Bill Draper said. "But for some reason, it's always her that gets named in this stuff."
The choice of lawn ornament was no subliminal dis at his neighbors, the Dilibertos, Draper said.
"[I chose the ornament] because I like it," he said. "No other reason."
The fake testicles are right near the Drapers' fence and not easily visible to the public, Draper said. The lawn ornament was even originally covered by an awning, which was broken by a stray ball, he said.
"When the awning got broke, [the statue] became visible [to the Dilibertos]," Draper said.
As originally reported, things came to a head -- no pun intended -- on July 4, when the Dilibertos put up a laminated sign featuring a photo of the lawn ornament. But Bill Draper said there's more behind his wife's arrest than just the tearing down of a sign.
"They [the Dilibertos] wanted to make a big deal out of it" and "provoked" Shirley Draper into going to read the sign, Bill Draper said. "She pulled it down to read it" because the text was so small, he said, and that's when the Dilibertos called the cops.
"We were having a party on the Fourth of July, and [the police] hauled her away," Draper said. "I've got a video of [Peter Diliberto] laughing his [butt] off [at the incident]."
"My wife has a temper, I'll admit that," Draper said, "but it's provocation."
Shirley Draper's court date is set for this Thursday (July 19). Bill Draper said this incident is the fifth between the two couples, and that while in court over a previous incident, he's heard Peter Dilliberto tell the judge that he wants the Drapers to move.
"Why should I be the one to move?" Draper said. He's lived in his house for 17 years, and the Dilibertos have lived next door for "about five, no more than six" years.
While the police have mostly sided with the Drapers in this case, saying that the fake testicles can stay because they're on private property and not causing a public disturbance, Draper said he's not too pleased with the way the police have responded on the whole.
"I can't put a finger on it yet," Draper said, but he believes that the Dilibertos somehow have the cops on their side. "They're always shaking hands goodbye."
During a previous court appearance, Draper was denied the chance to testify in support of his wife because the judge said he was not a credible witness.
"But yet [Peter Diliberto's] wife is always a credible witness," Draper said.