EXETER, RI (WJAR) — An Exeter, Rhode Island man claims his neighbor dumped a large pile of manure close to where their properties meet Friday afternoon.
The manure pile is located just feet away from where a wedding was scheduled to be held Saturday.
The smell is in the area where people will eat. Other neighbors further away said the smell is already bothering them.
“The way the wind travels it permeates all the way through there. You can feel it burning in the nostrils,” said Steve Sheally.
Gerald Zarrella is marketing the land he owns in Exeter as Gerald’s Farm.
He’s currently in the middle of a legal battle with the town of Exeter regarding whether or not he’s allowed to host commercial events on the property. A court memo indicates Zarrella has been cleared to host two weddings in September while the legal process plays out.
According to Zarrella, some neighbors haven’t been happy with his intention to develop the land over the last few years. He believes Friday’s incident is a form of retaliation.
“If there was a pair of boxing gloves here and he was willing, let’s go. That’s how furious I am. That is ripe, raw, chicken waste,” said Zarrella.
Rhode Island state and environmental police came to investigate the situation Friday evening. Although the neighbor did not commit a criminal act, officials say he did commit a civil violation. However, officials can’t force him to remove the manure before nearly 200 guests come to the wedding scheduled for Saturday.
“These people have a right to have a beautiful wedding,” Zarrella said. “It’s going to happen but it’s not nice what he has done.”