Eviction squabble spurs unusual accusations
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Just before midnight Thursday, Anthony Grady walked through the front door of his rented duplex unit off Cruse Road in Lawrenceville, chatting on his cell phone with his girlfriend in Florida. He claims he was whacked in the back of the head with a big, solid object, and then everything went black for a couple hours.
Grady said he woke up to find two flat-screen televisions and his laptop stolen, and a note in Spanish stabbed to the wall with a steak knife. He called 911.
During an interview at the hospital, Grady told a Gwinnett police investigator he had a strong inkling who was behind the attack -- his landlord. It's the same man Grady had implicated in a broadcast news interview a few days prior of saddling unruly renters with exorbitant water bills as payback when they moved out.
Both accusations are hogwash, said the landlord, Ricky Khichi.
Grady, who describes himself as a disabled contractor and neighborhood handyman, told WSB-TV last week that Khichi left water running in bathtubs, sinks and an outdoor hose to rack up water bills as high as $500 for former tenants who'd left with delinquent rent -- but had kept water services in their names.
Grady told the Daily Post on Tuesday he saw the running water while painting and cleaning rental properties owned by Khichi. It was work that Grady claims he wasn't paid for.
"We're in a drought and all that fresh water what a waste," Grady told the Post. "This does need to be exposed."
Grady said that going public with those accusations led to the attack at his home Thursday. The case remains under investigation, and no arrests have been made, police said. It wasn't clear Tuesday what the note tacked to Grady's wall said in Spanish, if anything.
Meanwhile, the landlord claims Grady -- who has lived at the property about two weeks and is being evicted -- has levied all the accusations out of spite, attempting to game the system. He claims Grady opened the water taps and called the media in an attempt to tarnish his name.
"I didn't see why any sensible person would spend any time on (Grady)," said Khichi, who owns four properties on Lawrenceville's Ferrite Loop, where Grady currently lives. "In these hard times everybody wants to stay, and not to pay. That's the bottom line."
As for the reported bludgeoning, Grady said his injuries were mostly superficial, but that he'll have to undergo pain management. He believes he was struck with a large rock. "It's just a bruise and a dent in the side of my head," Grady said.
Khichi posits that the injuries were either self-inflicted or staged -- and the whole fiasco a waste of taxpayer money.
"There was no need for I don't know how many police cars and an ambulance at the house," Khichi said. "I've been in this country 30 years, and I've never had an ambulance at my house."